Market update – European crops, war, and pricing pressure.

The world is rapidly changing and significant factors are impacting the sourcing and supply of products, particularly from Europe. 


The backdrop entering into the next Eastern European red fruit crop in July/August is very high market prices.

The high prices are due to a combination of factors, including;

  • Increased demand due to strong retail markets for IQF retail-packed frozen fruits as well as food products using industrial fruit (e.g. yogurt, smoothies, jam etc.).
  • Reduced staffing due to COVID, has led to reduced processing and production. In locations such as Chile, the governments have been supporting workers to stay home to lower the risk of spreading the disease.
  • Very high and increasing logistic costs.
  • Sharp rises in input costs (fuel and energy) affecting freezing, packaging material and fertiliser costs.
  • The war in Ukraine is impacting export and availability of essential products for crop production, including fertilisers.

More specifically, individual crops have their own challenges;

  • Raspberries; Due to lower prices in previous 2018-2020 crop seasons, growers stopped planting and cultivating these crops. North-America had a poor crop due to unprecedented heatwaves.
  • Blackberries wild; Chilean supply disappeared since pickers and factory workers stayed at home throughout the COVID pandemic. On top, factories were significantly impacted by government taxes which led to less processing facilities. We have seen a similar impact on picking and processing of raspberries in 2021-2022 Chilean season.
  • Blackberries cultivated; Very low pricing in earlier years resulted in growers exit crops. E.g. in Serbia, until 2019 Serbia had 6,500 hectares of blackberry fields. In 2021 this had decreased to approx. 1,360 hectares.
  • Blueberries wild; A poor crop in Canada has resulted in high prices in Europe.
  • Blackcurrants; Typical 6 years “up-and-down” cycle; last 2 years prices have increased and we are not expecting any price decrease for the upcoming season.


How the situation in Ukraine will unfold is unclear for now. There is a possibility that sanctions will dictate that the export of Ukrainian blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries will be abandoned. In such a scenario, as we have seen in the past (in the ’90s during the Balkan war), obscure situations evolve where the fruit is channeled through another country as a major exporter. If this occurs, more parties are involved in the supply chain and prices will increase.

Our market information from our European partners, ranks Ukraine as the third frozen raspberry exporter globally, just after Poland and Serbia. As you can see from the report in 2021, there were very positive expectations for Ukraine that raspberry export volume could double in 2022.

At the same time there were already growing concerns with regards to the behaviour of Russia which has evolved to today’s tragic situation.

Another unfolding issue because of the war in Ukraine, which might have a significant impact on Eastern European agriculture and Polish agriculture in particular, is the availability of Ukrainian labor. 

  • In recent years, Poland was given EU permission for Ukrainian workers to work in the fields harvesting fruit during summer. This was licensed for 1–1.2 million workers, for a period of 3–4 months. Under current circumstances, it is uncertain if this can continue for the upcoming crops and this then will have an impact on the collection of fruits like strawberries, raspberries and sour cherries.
  • Factories in eastern Poland are taking fresh fruit raw material (e.g. raspberries) from across the border in Ukraine for processing in Poland. Question will be if these companies continue to have access to these raw materials in 4 months from now. If not, it will give extra pressure on Polish origin demand and supply.

We all are witnessing the tragic stream of refugees from eastern Ukraine moving to the west of Ukraine, to Poland, and to other European countries. At the same time Polish factories confirm that their Ukraine workers are going back to Ukraine, to stay with their families and/or to fight in the war. In some of the factories, mainly located in eastern Poland, ⅓ of the total workforce is returning home.

Also, some large multinationals in Europe developed a significant reliance on Ukraine for wild blueberries, wild blackberries, and to a lesser extent raspberries. If supply issues evolve from sourcing origin Ukraine, these multinationals will be sourcing their products where businesses like ourselves are active today (Serbia, Bosnia, Poland), increasing demand.


Regarding the subject of fertilisers, it is already noticeable in European red fruit growing regions (Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Kosovo etc.) that farmers are questioning whether to buy these expensive “inputs” for their upcoming season. They face the need to feed the soil versus not knowing what their crops will sell for. They need to weight up the risk of damage to crops versus the large spend that they may not be able to recoup. If over 30% of these growers decide not to use fertilisers, it will cause a reduced yield/tonnage for export, resulting in more pressure on supply and price.

The 2022 crop will start empty on Blackberry, Raspberry and Blueberry. Globally, cold stores for these fruits are empty; only a little unsold fruit volume is still available. We will see the European crops open with high and firm prices based on low/no remaining stock combined with where Chile finished their crop (exports of Raspberry from Chile this 2021-2022 season is expected to be down to just 10k mt). 

The European and North American harvests are still months away and the market needs a very large and healthy Northern-hemisphere crop to restore balance and release some price pressure of these fruits. But we brace for another difficult season as the “release valve” for the price pressure is not yet in sight and the developments in Ukraine seem to be creating more pressure on some fruits along with fertiliser costs increase, supply issues and logistic costs increase.

We are hoping the above information will assist you to prepare for what appears to be another challenging period ahead for this fruit category. Our team is happy to answer your questions, provide more detail or clarify any of the information. Contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].

Natural Ingredients, more than just bulk foods

You may know us as suppliers of bulk importers of fruits, vegetables, juices and purees. You may not know that we also provide IQF (individually quick frozen) fruits and vegetables to the food service industry and retail.

The benefits of using IQF for food service are extensive, at the core, IQF produce assists to reduce the impact of challenges faced in the food service sector, such as reducing waste, locking in nutrition, reducing packaging, saving time and money, plus consistent high quality product supply. 

So what makes our Natural Ingredients IQF portions perfect for food service and why should you buy IQF for your business? Let’s explore some of the benefits that IQF deliver; 

Reduced waste

By buying just what you need, IQF portions mean that you don’t have food waste from removing seeds, skins or spoiled portions of your fruit and vegetables. As you are only defrosting the exact quantity you will need, excess ingredients are just kept in the freezer to be used at a later time, rather than discarded. 

Increased nutrition and taste –

Quick frozen produce means that the nutrients are locked in soon after harvest. During transportation, fresh fruits and vegetables can lose nutrition and taste. Buy using IQF products you deliver a highly nutritious and tasty product to your customers. 

Reduced packaging –

Our products are on the majority, packaged in bulk, without packaging around individual portions. You just take out what you need and reseal the bulk package for next time. Saving the amount of plastic and non organic waste. 

Less preparation –

Our food service IQF portions are cleaned, free of skins and seeds plus are cut into a ready to use size, including cubes, chunks, slices, pulp, puree and crumble. Saving you time and money.

Consistent supply & quality –

Frozen produce isn’t seasonal, you can get it all year round and you can be reassured that the product will be consistent in quality each time you receive your supply.

To browse your IQF options, download our Food Service IQF catalogue here; 

We are industry leaders in sourcing, importing and distributing fruit and vegetable ingredients. We pride ourselves on our friendly, fast and effective communication and professional and reliable service. We guarantee a response to your enquiry within 24- (work) hours of your enquiry. Plus our team has un-matched, in depth specialised fruit and vegetable industry knowledge which is based on more than 25 years of experience. 

Would you like to know more? Start a conversation with our team today.  Contact us on 02 4573 2555 by email at [email protected] or complete our contact form at

What’s in store for food in 2022?

With a New Year approaching so does new trends in food. As we look towards 2022 and with recent unprecedented events more people are focusing not only on what they are consuming but also on how it is grown and produced.

Sustainability was a key element in food trends for 2021 and it is again in food trends for 2022. The focus of ingredients farmed and sourced responsibly with a lower impact on the environment will expand this trend in important ways as will the increase of availability.

With a focus on sustainability, here are the upcoming food trends for the new year.

Know your produce, know your farmer.

Not only is produce that is farmed responsibly increasing on consumers’ priority list, but knowing where their food comes from is also a high priority. Alongside this, there has also been an increase in community and backyard gardens. The uptake of these was started to address the issue of “urban-food deserts” for those who live in the city and at times don’t have access to land or fresh produce. Allowing consumers to understand the process of food production and connect with the process of getting food onto their table. With more options now available to consumers with projects such as community gardens, kitchen crops, and even home-based hydroponics, there is now a new range of growing methods to be explored. This allows for rooftops, balconies, and backyards to be used to access healthy ingredients that have been grown in responsible ways.

For those who don’t have a green thumb or accessibility to these gardens, having access to produce that is farmed responsibly and the increased interest in knowing where their food comes from, increased opportunities for frozen fruits and vegetables to meet this gap. Produce that is transparent in its origins and production process, allowing the consumer to essentially, know the farmer and feel connected to the brand. 

Reducing Meat Intake 

With a focus on sustainability and the damaging effects that excessive meat consumption can have on the environment and our health. This food trend is also known as “Reducetarian Eating” embraces thoughtful moderation rather than changing your diet to vegetarian and vegan.

With a lot of incredible alternative meal options and substitutes for meat in recipes and available in ready-to-eat meals, this gives mindful consumers the options to look at more environmentally conscious ways to eat. 


Environmental issues have been at the front of news stories for the better part of a decade. With the increased news coverage, sustainable living is a topic many consumers are aware of and a vast majority are taking steps towards living more sustainably. Part of this trend is the decrease in food waste and the decision to purchase products that contain less plastic. Consumers are actively looking for brands that fit their desire to be more sustainable while delivering the same consistent product that they love. 

Food is Medicine 

Two years into a pandemic, people are consuming more immunity-boosting foods which have created a growing interest in the concept that food is medicine. This has encouraged people to consume more natural, minimally processed foods to get the most nutrition for better health outcomes including a stronger immune system.
After initial studies were completed on the COVID-19 virus it was found that people with a greater immunity were less likely to suffer more severe side effects, so there was an increased demand to stock up on ingredients that contain Vitamin C and immunity-boosting properties.
An example of immunity-boosting foods include fruits with Vitamin C such as guavas, strawberries, and oranges. 
Zinc which is also great for your immunity can be found in shiitake mushrooms, peas and spinach. 

Social Media Recipes

Cooking at home increased during the pandemic, and the details show that a large majority of consumers are intent on continuing this trend. With a world that has been heavily involved in tech and online purchasing for two years, more people are trying out different recipes and trends that they are finding on social media platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram. With the rise of home cooking throughout the last few years, consumers are looking to continue with this trend well beyond the pandemic. As we head into 2022, more social media-inspired recipes will become part of dinnertime routines as consumers opt for faster, convenient, and easier recipes to make in the comfort of their own kitchen.

As we head into 2022 with a focus on fresh and sustainable food trends which of the above are your customers following or looking at adapting into their lifestyle? Have you seen a shift in the way consumers purchase now against how they purchased pre-pandemic? 

Just some “food-for-thought” as we move into the new year. 

Would you like to know more? Start a conversation with our team today.  Contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].

Good for your Gut

We all know the Christmas season is known for too much food, too much alcohol and generally being a little too merry! Here are some foods that will assist you to balance that overindulgence and get yourself back into a healthy routine by helping you counter the increased consumption.

Healthy eating is fast becoming a higher priority, especially in that period of time straight after the Christmas and New Year get-togethers!

Consumers are exposed to more information about diet and consumption than ever before. Consumers, as a collective, know more about the foods they consume and the effects (positive and negative) a range of different foods have on our health. 

Let’s face it, the huge amount of information available can be confusing and can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Food is a critical element in helping your body heal itself after periods of overeating and excessive drinking. Below we discuss gut health and healthy eating to help restore balance.

Eat Fruit and Vegetables

We’ve heard it all before, but it’s true, one of the first and most important things we can do to help our digestive system is to eat lots of vegetables, legumes, beans, and fruit.

As one of the best sources of nutrients for a healthy digestive microbiome, fruit and vegetables are clear winners in this area. They are high in natural fibre, which your body can’t digest, but instead, it is left to the unique bacteria in your gut that can digest this fibre and, intern, this stimulates their growth. Returning your gut Microbiome to good health assists with your immunity to infection and disease plus keeps producing Serotonin, the hormone that stabilises your mood and promotes feelings of happiness and helps control your digestive movements and function.

Help is at hand! There is a great range of foods that can help support your digestive systems return to health. Here are some of the most popular foods that are high in fibre and great to help support gut bacteria.


  • Bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Apples


  • Artichokes
  • Green Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Chickpeas, lentils and beans
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Beetroot
  • Leeks
  • Spinach
  • Watercress 
  • Kale

Of course, a lot of these fresh morsels of goodness can also be produced into some of the most popular healthy-gut foods such as Kombucha, Sauerkraut and Kimchi discusses that “One study found that following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables prevented the growth of some disease-causing bacteria.

Bifidobacteria are considered highly beneficial bacteria, as they can help prevent intestinal inflammation and enhance gut health. These beneficial bacteria can break down fibre. Therefore, foods rich in fibre, such as apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds and pistachios, can all help your Bifidobacteria thrive1”

Eating a diverse range of foods  

The hundreds of bacteria in our intestines all have different nutrient needs to grow and thrive. Each of these bacteria conducts a specific role and all need our support. Consuming a diverse range of foods helps maintain the right balance and encourages the bacteria to thrive. mentions, “Generally speaking, a diverse microbiome is considered a healthy one. This is because the more species of bacteria you have, the more health benefits they may be able to contribute to. A diet consisting of different food types can lead to a more diverse microbiome Unfortunately, the traditional Western diet is not very diverse and is rich in fat and sugar. In fact, an estimated 75% of the world’s food is produced from only 12 plant and 5 animal species. However, diets in certain rural regions are often more diverse and richer in different plant sources. For this reason, a few studies have shown that gut microbiome diversity is much greater in people from rural regions of Africa and South America than in people from urban areas in Europe or the United States.”

Alongside these diet changes, moderation in alcohol and food consumption, exercise and simply taking some time out all contribute to realigning your body and re-establishing your healthy routine. 

Sourcing new and hard to find ingredients can be a challenge. Rest assured, At Natural Ingredients, we have a huge range of fruits and vegetables available through our network and we work with you to plan and forecast your supply needs for the up and coming year. 

If you would like to know more about our range of fruits and vegetables, fruit purees and fruit juices please contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].


Summer fruits, more than just a fruit salad.

With warmer weather setting in, summer fruits are front of mind again in Australia. 

When you think tropical fruits you probably normally picture fruit salads and ice creams, but these delicious, fragrant and brightly coloured fruits are so much more than that. 

The harvest season is almost upon us for these delicious fruits with crops from in Vietnam and Peru and Costa Rica are almost ready to move into harvest. The range of tropical fruits is extensive from mango, passionfruit and banana from Vietnam and Peru, to pineapple, papaya and dragonfruit from Costa Rica. 

We are now locking in tropical fruit puree, juice and IQF orders now for delivery this summer.  

Below we’ll explore their nutritional value and include some recipe and production ideas from these fruits that you may not have considered, until now!


Who doesn’t love pineapples? The average pineapple takes about 18-20 months to be ready to harvest, and it’s built from hundreds of fruitlets that fuse together as the fruit grows. Pineapples are a great way to add sweetness to any meal. The real question is, is this fruit better served hot or cold? We’ll let you decide!

Nutritional information; 

CaloriesTotal FatSodiumPotassium FibreVitamin AVitamin C
(approx 115g)
(210 kj)
010mg120mg1g2% RDI 50% RDI

 Have you considered these recipe ideas for Pineapple?

  • Pineapple shortbread
  • Pineapple and coconut slice
  • Pineapple Jam
  • Pineapple fried rice
  • Pineapple salsa (perfect with Grilled Salmon)
  • Pineapple fried brown rice
  • Bacon wrapped pineapple pieces
  • Chicken and pineapple Quesadillas

Dragonfruit – 

Arguably the most popular smoothie fruit, dragon fruit gives any drink a gorgeous pink colour and adds great nutritional value as well. This member of the cactus family has some interesting nutritional bonuses like Omega 3, 6 and calcium. Available in pink and white varieties. 

Nutritional information;

CaloriesTotal FatSodiumPotassium FibreMagnesiumVitamin C
Dragon Fruit
(approx 100g)
60 (251kj)00156mg3g10% RDI77% RDI

 Some recipe ideas that will have you tickled pink! 

(That aren’t smoothies)

  • Dragonfruit soda or cordial
  • Dragonfruit pancakes
  • Dragonfruit salsa
  • Dragonfruit protein balls
  • Avocado and Dragonfruit salad
  • Dark chocolate Dragonfruit cake
  • Dragonfruit bread
  • Dragonfruit cheesecake

Passionfruit – 

One of the most underrated tropical fruits, the passionfruit packs any recipe with flavour, crunch and colour. I mean, you can’t have a pavlova without finishing off the decorating with some fresh passionfruit!

Nutritional information;

CaloriesTotal FatSodiumPotassium FibreVitamin AVitamin C
(approx 100g)
97 (406 kj)0.7g28mg348mg10.4g45% RDI50% RDI

 Recipes full of seedy passionfruit goodness;

  • Passionfruit and coconut muffins
  • Banana and passionfruit bread
  • Passionfruit relish
  • Passionfruit Jelly
  • Passionfruit Lassi
  • Rosemary and passionfruit cookies
  • Wasabi and passionfruit sauce


Whether it’s frozen banana in a smoothie, banana slices cooked with caramel or eaten solo, bananas are part of our everyday life.  True, they have high sugar content, but along with that comes high amounts of fibre, vitamin C and Vitamin B6.

Nutritional information;

CaloriesTotal FatSodiumPotassium FibreVitamin AVitamin C
(1 medium)
11000450mg3g2% RDI15% RDI

Recipe Ideas; 

  • Banana Breakfast cookies
  • Banana Soufflé 
  • Banana pancakes
  • Banana butter
  • Banana caramel slice
  • Savoury banana fritters
  • Banana ketchup (Crazy huh!)

Plus, let’s face it, anything banana goes perfectly with chocolate!

Papaya – 

The papaya isn’t always front of mind and often gets overlooked. We’re here to shed some light on this bright orange fragrant fruit. The papaya has a unique musky flavour which 

Nutritional Information; 

CaloriesTotal FatSodiumPotassium FibreVitamin AVitamin C
(approx 100g) 
(213 kj)
0.2g11mg210mg3.5g30% RDI225% RDI

 How to use papaya; 

  • Mexican papaya salad
  • Papaya Jam
  • Papaya and chilli salsa
  • Lime and Papaya slice
  • Vegetable and Papaya Pizza
  • Ham, Avocado and Papaya salad

We are working with our producers on filling our summer tropical fruit orders now. We are anticipating supply challenges with shipping line availability and container freight costs to continue into early next year. Please allow plenty of lead time for new orders for delivery during Q1 2022.

If you would like to know more about our range of IQF fruits, fruit purees and fruit juices please contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].

We find our information from a variety of sources, here they are;

Fruit and beer, a match made in heaven.

The rise of craft brew has been significant over the last decade. With so many new brews and flavour combinations entering the market, fruits provide a huge range of natural flavour choices for flavouring beer. We know that this market is in a growth phase, and with Eastern Australia looking towards post lockdown life, we have seen interest in new and exotic flavours to enhance and strengthen this product range.

We all know Aussies love beer. In 2018, we consumed on average, over 60 litres of full-strength beer per capita for the year1, add onto that mid and low strength beer and it’s safe to say the Australian beer market is thriving. So where does craft beer, specifically fruit craft beer fit into this market? 

The global fruit beer market is on the rise according to Global Fruit Beer Market By Flavor By Distribution Channel By Region, Industry Analysis and Forecast, 2020 – 2026.The market size is expected to reach $570 Million by 2026, rising at a market growth of 3.7% between 2020 and 20262. The craft beer industry in Australia is valued at more than 150 million Australian dollars and is estimated to be increasing by 5 to 10 % each year3. Most craft beer drinkers are aged between 30 and 39, and a significantly higher proportion are male rather than female. 

This high rate of beer consumption, coupled together with the up and coming warmer weather plus post lockdown excitement, is sure to increase the consumption of craft beers in the very near future.

The history of craft beer

In the early 1900s the Belgians started adding fruit (mostly sour morello cherries) to their beer. Forward-thinking trendsetters! Since this establishment of flavour, there have been many variations and the introduction of many new combinations to markets right across the world.

Modern craft beer production began around the 1960s and rose in popularity as home brewing and microbreweries became popular through the 1970s and 1990s. 

The rise of fruit being used in brews

The popularity of fruit in beer has exploded in recent years, adding distinct flavours to beer, to make them sweeter, more bitter or pack that extra punch that you can’t get from hops alone. 

Fruity beer often ties in well with the hot summer months, adds an extra level of refreshment to the drink and offers new flavour alternatives for those wanting to try a little different.

Something new

Consumers are often looking for that next big thing to share with their friends and to talk about as our country reopens and we head back to the pubs and restaurants. Traditionally, only limited to the small brewers, craft beer and fruity craft beer has become more mainstream as the popularity of the product grows. The major players are moving into this space, creating a larger range of products for consumers to choose from and increasing demand for new exotic products.

So why fruit in beer?

Fruits bring a large range of flavours and some would even say, additional experiences to the drinker. There are many reasons fruits can boost the traditional craft beer, here are just a few; 

Flavour – Fruits can give the beer a distinct flavour, extra sweet, aromatic or even sour.

Food pairing – Fruits help beer pair with certain foods, that may be traditionally they would have not suited.

Natural flavour – Consumers are increasingly conscious of what is in what they eat and drink. Fruit offers a natural alternative to manufactured flavours and can also be supplied as organic or sustainably grown crops. 

Trends – The rise of demand for unique craft beers has driven the expansion of fruit in beer, as the consumer demand changes from sweet to sour, fruits offer a huge range of flavours that pack that sour zing.

Culture – There is a strong culture for new and unique flavours right across a huge range of alcohol, not just craft beers. 

Which fruit flavour is the king?

When it comes to beer, Raspberries, cherries, and apricot have featured heavily in traditional craft beers. Strong demand for less sweet alternatives is helping to fuel the investigation of new flavours. Interest falls with flavours like Acai, ginger, papaya, guava and even herbs. 

The range and choice are huge and significant testing and investment is being made into finding the next flavour king.

Keep an eye out on the shelves in your local bottle store. Currently, there is a lot of interest in exotic fruit and herbs in the commercial drink industry and craft beer is just the start. What could be next?

If you would like to know more about our range of IQF fruits, fruit purees and fruit juices please Contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].


  2. .

Worldwide shipping delays and how it will impact your business.

We recently discussed in our May Market Update that disruption in the global shipping network is causing extensive blowouts in lead-times. Let’s discuss that in more detail. 

The pandemic has affected global supply chains in a range of ways.

On one hand the demand for goods worldwide had a sharp increase due to the boom of online shopping and global financial stimulus packages. On the other hand, with significant flight restrictions (implemented flight caps and reduction in flights worldwide) and lockdowns having significant impact on supply chains from farm to manufacture to transport hubs, moving goods around the world has become more difficult, and more expensive with a lot of the extra pressure falling onto the industry. 

The increasing pressure on sea freight comes with it’s own challenges. We are experiencing regular -temporary- shutdowns or slowdowns of shipping ports across Asia, Europe and the Americas due to many factors. Including localised lockdowns and stop works due to COVID outbreaks, quickly creating a backlog of containers at the major ports. Extra contributing factors have also played part, such as the blockage of Suez Canal, and an uneven distribution of containers globally. Recent riots and strikes in Columbia and South Africa, important fruit processing countries, have accentuated issues from those origins. All of the above has added to the already existing pressures on the industry.

Shipping capacity to our part of the world has become more of a challenge and prices keep on increasing for both air and sea freight. Especially for specialised, less frequent journeys to our region of Australia and New Zealand. The up-and-coming peak shipping season in the lead up to Christmas will add extra load onto an already backlogged system.

One of our freight partners has recently shared their view on the outlook;

“With rates reaching record levels on all trades lanes around the globe, the Asia to USA and Asia to Europe trade lanes appear to be the benchmark now and at time of writing, there is every expectation that rates will continue to rise higher as capacity and equipment become more difficult to secure for our region.”

NNR Global Logistics

Aside from the above supply chain challenges there is also very serious unfolding supply issues on a few key products, in particular raspberry and blackberry and to a lesser extent blackcurrant as well as stone fruit (peach and apricot) from Greece and Spain. It is very well possible there will be insufficient supply from the current crops to meet the market demand. 

The good news

At Natural Ingredients our years of experience has built strong relationships with both our suppliers and freight forwarders. While this does not make us immune to the impacts on the global shipping situation, it helps us navigate and negotiate the very best outcomes for sourcing and transport of your required industrial fruits and vegetables. 

We remain hopeful this situation will improve early 2022 but until then we expect a challenging period ahead. There are no signs yet we are over the worst of this situation.

Why do we want you to know this?

These delays and backlogs in shipping will impact directly on your business. A significant increase in costs on shipping and distribution of goods will impact on the landed cost of your most popular products. And serious delays in supply, making planning even more critical this year than ever before.

Particularly the up-and-coming Q3 and Q4 of 2021 are a concern that needs additional planning and forecasting to overcome these challenges. We have found that our regular order lead-times have doubled and, in some cases have extended out even longer. 

These factors combined with the increased demand throughout the Christmas period, are going to cause significant pressure on already strained supply chains. Due to this, we encourage you to discuss with us your forecast demand for the remainder of 2021 and throughout 2022. Securing supply of products, freight and shipments early is key to delivering your products in the best time frame and in the quantity required. 

Would you like to know more or like to talk to us about your supply needs? Contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].

Home cooking during the pandemic – How it’s created a new demand

Trends around the world have shown that home cooking and demand for basic ingredients have skyrocketed, right around the world. The reason for this sharp increase has been, in the majority, influenced by the movement and social restrictions caused by the current pandemic. Here’s why….

Consumer trends

Home Cooking throughout the pandemic has become a great way for families to connect, a way for people to spend their newfound extra time and add a nutritional boost to their daily lives. 

Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a change in how consumers purchase. Overall, consumers have switched their focus from quick easy purchases to foods that have an extended shelf life and surprisingly, a higher percentage of exotic ingredients have been introduced to everyday cooking. 

Research also shows that younger Australians have lead the increase in time spent online exploring food-based content, with IAB Australia reporting that ‘Australians aged 13-24 increased their time spent online with food and cooking content by 144%’ showing that cooking at home is just not centered around adults.

And not only have meals and the majority of eating moved to the home, it has led to an increase in the use of base ingredients like frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, flours and sugars, and away from recipe starters and packet meals. Now, with extra time for research and preparation, consumers are broadening the flavours they are using to cook and discovering new tastes and styles of cooking they may have not previously explored. 

Will this continue?

Once the world returns to the new normal will cooking at home and cooking for health still be a growing hobby for Australian families?

No doubt a huge number of people have been introduced to, or rediscovered the joy of, cooking at home. We will likely see a temporary resurgence into eating out as lockdown cease and businesses reopen and welcome customers to return to their favourite restaurants. 

But even with the rollout of vaccination programs and the world reopening, it is likely that these new habits will stick around. Here’s why; 

  • In a short time, education on nutrition, health and how viruses circulate has been a daily occurrence for the world’s population. Consumers know, now more than ever the role that nutrition and good food plays in their daily lives. 
  • Families have rediscovered their love for the family meal at home. Both time spent preparing the meal together and eating as a family the meal key components to the enjoyment factor and have helped people reconnect.
  • Cooking at home has led to new tastes being discovered and are likely to be continued to be used in home cooking more readily.
  • In recently survey conducted by HUNTER, Food Study Special Report Wave Two, 71% of survey participants intended on continuing home cooking to the same higher level after the pandemic ends. 
  • It’s enjoyable! A whole new generation discovering, and a large amount of people rediscovering, the enjoyment of cooking and baking.
  • Consumers have discovered the cost saving of home cooking against regularly buying take away meals or eating out. 

What does this mean for the food industry?

Throughout the pandemic, both demand and supply have had unprecedented challenges.

Reduced crop availability due to weather events, disturbance of picking and packing due to limited workforces, alongside fluctuations in market demand has resulted in a drastic reduction in the availability of some of our most popular imports. This large reduction in availability has also led to a steep increase in prices.

Shipping of goods has also been disrupted, with impacts of shutdowns, movement restrictions and increased demand for products all combining to create a backlog of goods being imported into Australia and a sharp rise in shipping costs. 

 The best way to combat these major disruptions is thru good planning so please do let us know about your supply challenges and your potential demand throughout 2021 and 2022. We can help you navigate and plan for the year ahead and provide additional information on availability, cost and the choices available to you.

Start a conversation with our team today.  Contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].

No it’s not a trick, non browning avocado is real!

Sound too good to be true? 

Think about an avocado, that when cut, doesn’t turn an unsightly brown, helping you to keep your food looking fresh for days longer. How can we offer natural, additive free avocado that doesn’t brown? 

Introducing the Natavo™ avocado. 

Natavo™ avocado undergoes a unique process that when completed results in a product that is resistant to the process of browning. This process is 100% chemical, additive and preservative free.

“Natavo™ products have a remarkable shelf life, are 100% natural, taste great and come in frozen sliced avocado, frozen avocado chunks and frozen smashed avocado. It’s IQF Avocado like you have never seen before.”

Reduce waste, extend the life of your shelf products and save money. 

Read on to discover more.

What causes an avocado to go brown?

Avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase. The browning of the avocado flesh happens when this enzyme is exposed to oxygen. 

It is safe to eat an avocado when it has browned, however the browning process can cause a bitter taste and it doesn’t look as appealing for consumers as the Avocado’s regular gorgeous vibrant green.

About the Natavo™ process:

The process that creates a non browning avocado, happens through the world first technology of the ATM, (Avocado Time Machine). The ATM “turns off” the enzyme that causes the avocado flesh to brown. 

This completely natural process both makes the avocado present better for longer, it also extends the avocado life by 10 days (when kept in the fridge) even after the packaging is opened. 

“Delivered via the patented Avocado Time Machine, the Natavo™ process effectively switches off the enzyme that causes avocados to go brown. It’s 100% natural, using only the forces of nature.” 

The Why: 

So why switch to a non browning Avocado? There are many reasons why you should switch to Natavo™ Avocado. Here is just a few…

Sustainability – from an environment point of view, food waste has a significant impact on the environment. By choosing food that lasts longer on display and is more appealing for longer, it helps save all the previous resources needed for food production. 

Reducing waste and saving money – By reducing the amount you throw out, you save money expenditure by reducing the amount of product you need and also reduce the amount of product orders needed. 

Reduce additives – The Natavo™ avocado ATM uses a 100% natural process to switch off the enzyme in avocados that turn it brown, with out the use of any additives through the process. Perfect for any consumer that is conscious of their food consumption.

Appeal – Have your fresh products, look fresh for longer. Helping to increase your selling appeal, with less effort. 

Extend display life – This product is perfect for any foodservice business that requires its product to be on display for substantial amounts of time. Make your products look better, for longer. Extend your product display life, from one or two days too many!

The Natavo™ avocado is available in IQF pulp, cubes, halves, smashed avocado and slices its the perfect way to reduce your waste, save money and deliver a superior product to your customers. 

To order Natavo™ avocado or for more information, please contact our helpful team here at Natural Ingredients. Contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].

Market Update, May 2021

Our sector has experienced explosive growth over the last 12 months, which is at levels that we have not seen before. 

COVID19 both increased the demand for fruit and vegetable products, due to the long shelf life of frozen and packaged fruits plus an increasing demand for products used in home cooking and baking, such as frozen and dried fruits, juices, and fruit products. 

There is also an increase in demand for products that promote good health, and the demand has not wavered and continues to stay strong. 

We are experiencing a market that is still in a state of extreme flux. Our sector is in the midst of unprecedented demand on a scale that has been unseen within our industry for over 20 years with the sales growth of frozen fruit experienced by retailers being one of the main drivers for the increase.

At the same time, disruption in the global shipping network is causing extensive blowouts in lead-times. In addition, significant increase in supply chain costs is accentuating current price spikes.

This coupled together with recent poor crops for some fruits due to worldwide weather events and a lack of harvest labor has added to the global supply challenges and price increases.

Due to this worldwide lack of supply of some key products, like Raspberry, Wild Blueberry (Canada), Black currant and Blackberry, are currently not available. Hence, companies are looking to available alternatives in the market. 

That’s where we can help!

The demand for crops

We have seen large retailers expanding into new markets and looking for new suppliers to meet their consumer demand. Due to the reduced quantities available in their existing supply chains, retailers are “shopping around” which is having a huge impact on available bulk supply for the industry.

The retail demand is pushing up crop prices. To date, we see the large retailers absorb this extreme rise, and it has not yet impacted at a retail level. However, we forecast it will shift very soon as the current low retail price point is not sustainable.

So what does this mean for you and your supply?

The reality is, there are key products in the fruit sector, that we just cannot supply at this time, and for the immediate future. 

Put simply, supply will be very challenging over the next 6 months, until products, sourced from the next European summer and autumn crops, are available in Australia and New Zealand. This could mean that alternative products may need to be sourced. And a little out of the box thinking may need to be applied to up and coming products, supply and forecasts.

Our relationships in the entire supply chain, with our overseas farmers, supply partners and manufacturers, is second to none. We are in contact with the complete supply chain on a daily basis, and our team is working hard with our network in securing current and future supply.

So what’s the good news?

The great news is that supply of vegetables is, on the whole, very strong and consistent and we haven’t seen the same impact on the supply chain for these products that we have experienced with fruits.

We also have an expansive range of traditional and exotic fruits that are in plentiful supply and are imported from our local region, so there is less of an impact on supply chain delays.

We are now well into the 2021 Moroccan and Spanish Strawberry crop and the new Chinese strawberry crop commences in one weeks’ time. We welcome your early enquiries on these strawberry products.

Forecasting and forward planning is now more critical than ever, so we encourage all of our clients to provide us with their demand from this years’ strawberry crop to cover needs till end Aug-Sep 2022. Call our team and we will happily update you with the most recent information on crop supply and available alternatives to meet your customers demand throughout this period of flux.

Start a conversation with our team today.  Contact us on 02 4573 2555 or by email at [email protected].