Inaugural Women in Foodservice event to run at Fine Food

Fine Food Australia, the largest foodservice trade show in the country, is this year launching a Women in Foodservice morning tea to help connect and inspire women in all facets of the food industry.

Running on Wednesday 17 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm, the morning tea will also raise funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Feed Melbourne Appeal.

The event will bring together leading women from across the industry, including Carolyn Creswell, founder of Carman's Kitchen and 2012 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, and Jacky Magid, sales manager at Charlie’s Cookies.

Minnie Constan, exhibition manager at Diversified Exhibitions, which runs Fine Food Australia, said the event aims to show woman that it’s possible for them to reach senior management positions.

"Internationally, the lack of women in leadership roles within the food service industry has long been an issue, but women have made – and continue to make – a big mark on the food service industry, and we wanted to acknowledge that.

“Women make up around 60 percent of food prep managers and service workers but we're not very well represented in senior teams. Fine Food Australia wanted to give women in food service in Australia the opportunity to hear from women who have made it to that senior level – and when you consider that many women in our industry are juggling the demands of family as well as careers, what they bring to the sector is even more impressive,” she said.

For more information on the Women in Foodservice morning tea, click here.

 

Aussie wine exports: average value up, total exports down

Despite a decline in total exports, the last financial year saw a rise in the average value of wine, according to a report released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority.

The latest Wine Export Approval Report June 2014 states that the average value of bottled wine exports grew by six percent to $4.77 per litre, while bulk wine exports grew marginally to $1.02 per litre.

However, total Australian wine exports declined by two percent to 684 million litres, valued at $1.78 billion.

Bottled exports of wine above $7.50 per litre increased by four percent to 31 million litres. Although small in volume terms with a five percent share, this segment is valued at $442 million annually, representing a 25 percent value share.

White wine exports increased by three percent to 287 million litres, representing a 42 percent volume share.
AGWA’s acting chief executive, Andreas Clark, said growth was strongest in the ultra-premium segment (above $50 per litre).

“The ultra-premium segment grew by 25 percent to a record 0.95 million litres and valued at $76 million. It’s an early positive indicator of a reversal of the downward trends that were set in place when the global financial crisis took hold in late 2007,” he said.

“We have continued to see decline in the volume of Australian wine exports, mostly in the red wine segment with exports declining by six percent to 383 million litres and accounting for a 56 percent volume share.”

UK and Europe
The UK remains Australia’s biggest export market by volume. While overall volumes declined, bottle wine exports above $7.50 per litre increased by 14 percent to 2.2 million litres.

North America
Higher price segments recorded growth in the US with exports above $7.50 per litre increasing by eight percent to 4.3 million litres.

The under $5.00 price segment saw decline by seven percent to 100 million litres, with total exports to the US declining by 15 percent at 161 million litres valued at $432 million.

Bottled wine exports to Canada followed a similar trend, with premium wine segments on the rise. The strongest growth was seen in exports above $10.00 per litre, with volume up 16 percent to 1.6 million litres.

Bottled exports below $5.00 per litre to Canada declined by 11 percent to 18 million litres.

Asia
Australia was not immune to the slowdown in the China imported wine market with Australian bottled exports declining by eight percent to 33 million litres and bulk wine exports declining by 26 percent to three million litres.
The decline stabilised in the last three months with the sharp declines in the volume of premium Australian wine exports recorded in late 2013 easing.

Other Asian markets had strong results in premium wine exports including Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, particularly in the second half of the financial year.

 

Goulburn Valley releases new bottle design

Goulburn Valley, part of The Coca-Cola Company, has announced the rollout of a new bottle and packaging design for its Goulburn Valley Juice and Quencher ranges.

The new bottles have an ergonomic design and utilise the blowfill manufacturing process, resulting in lighterweight packaging with 25 percent less PET.

The new Goulburn Valley Juice range will hit shelves this month while the Quencher range will be available from September.

The new blowfill bottle will see the Goulburn Valley Quencher pack size change from a 420mL pack size to 350mL.

The launch of the new Goulburn Valley Juice bottle will be supported by a range of point-of-sale items including trade presenters, A3 posters, shelf strips and fridge decals to educate customers about the pack refresh. The Goulburn Valley Quencher range will additionally be supported by fridge decals.

 

Food and beverage brands recognised at NSW Telstra Business Awards

Chai latte pre-mix manufacturer, Bondi Chai, and brewing company Stone & Wood, have been recognised in this year’s Telstra NSW Business Awards.

Bondi Chai, which manufacturers a premium chai latte pre-mix and distributes it to supermarkets and cafes in Australia, claimed the Micro Business Award with judges saying the business, based in Port Stephens, “has excellent numbers, an impressive global strategy and an amazing distribution model.”

The Regional Award went to Stone & Wood Brewing Company, which was launched in Byron Bay in 2008. Every year since then, they’ve nearly doubled turnover and in 2014 they added a second, larger brewery in Murwillumbah.

Telstra judges praised the strong management, sound financials, excellent long term planning and sustainability of Stone & Wood, saying it combined the best from the corporate and small and medium enterprise worlds, adding that the founders had a very strong commitment to the local community. 

Winners of the Telstra New South Wales Business Awards progress to the Telstra Australian Business Awards, which will be announced in Melbourne on 7 August.

The Telstra Business Awards celebrate Australia’s entrepreneurs and innovators, offering a chance for small to medium businesses to be recognised for their hard work, commitment and success.

Elevate Education, which develops and facilitates study skills workshops, was named the 2014 Telstra New South Wales Business of the Year, while the Start-Up Award went to Pet Circle (formerly Paws for Life), based in Alexandria.

 

TWE overhauls its operations: The week in focus

In this week's news wrap up, we examine Treasury Wine Estate’s announcement that they will be writing off $260 million from its fiscal 2014 full year profit.

Treasury wine CEO Michael Clarke says that fiscal 2015 will be a “reset year” for the company as it strives to deliver improvements in performance.

 “Today’s announcement of an asset impairment further highlights the need for TWE to do things differently. The current business model is not being optimised and fails to reflect the company’s outstanding capability, brands and people,” Clarke said.

In May, TWE said it will cut 175 jobs in a move to invest more heavily in marketing and promoting its brands shortly after freshening up its ‘everyday’ Rosemount range label to make a play for the UK convenience store market, with an estimated $360 million in revenue in impulse purchases.

For more information on what the restructure will involve, check out the video below!

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Functional beverage consumption soars: IBISWorld

According to IBISWorld, the energy, sport and health drink market saw a revenue increase by an estimated 2.5 percent in 2013-14 to reach $1.1 billion.

This is forecast to continue in the five years through 2018-19, with industry revenue growing by 11.4 percent to reach $1.3 billion.

"Energy drinks carry a more youthful and fresh image than coffee and have been supported by strong advertising campaigns, which has appealed to young consumers," Daniel Ruthven, IBISWorld general manager said.

Over the past five years, the growth of Coca-Cola’s Mother and Asahi’s Monster has seen Australian made energy drinks overtake foreign imports in retail sales.

Over this period, energy drinks have grown within the functional beverage production industry, increasing their share of the category from just over 30 percent in 2008-09 to 39.6 percent in 2013-14.

"Australia has been late to the party when it comes to embracing energy drinks. As a result, this segment of the drinks industry has long been dominated by foreign products, until now, with very strong uptake of domestic products by young consumers," Ruthven said.

Sports drinks are forecast to decline by 0.2 percent over 2013-14, but revenue is expected to increase by 6.0 percent in the five years through 2018-19, to reach $458.0 million.

"Strong affiliation with some of our biggest sports events, teams, gyms and athletes means that sports drink revenue is anticipated to substantially increase in the coming years given Australia reputation as a nation of sports fanatics," Ruthven said.

Health drinks revenue is also expected to grow by 14.6 percent in 2013-14. IBISWorld anticipates growth to remain high in the five years through 2018-19, at a massive 58.2 percent annualised.

"Consumers are increasingly using health-related functional beverages as supplements to aid digestion, decrease hunger and manage weight. Health drinks, such as probiotic drinks and others with antioxidants or herbal ingredients, are expected to become increasingly popular with health-conscious, time-poor professionals," said Mr Ruthven.

 

Acquisition opportunities ripe for the picking: report

According to a report released today from Grant Thornton Australia, mid-sized food and beverage businesses need to formulate growth plans or exit strategies in order to capitalise on the increasing number of acquisition and divestment opportunities available in the sector.

The report titled Bite Size, found that despite challenging market conditions globally, Australia has had more food and beverage acquisition targets than any other country in the Asia Pacific region.

According to the report, Australia is ranked as having the fifth highest level of food and beverage transactions globally during the January 2011 to March 2014 period.

Cameron Bacon, Food & Beverage Partner, Grant Thornton Australia said that now is the time for medium sized businesses in the industry to capitalise on either investment of divestment opportunities.

“Acquisition opportunities within the Australian food and beverage sector are receiving interest from local, international and private equity buyers. Fuelled by the sector’s prime position to service Asia’s growing demand for high quality food products, CEOs and owners within the sector need to ensure their businesses are well positioned to capitalise on current opportunities within the sector,” he said.

Bacon said that buyers are heavily focused on the food segment which makes up 75 percent of total transactions within the food and beverage manufacturing sector. In addition, Bacon noted that the report revealed higher valuation multiples were achieved by businesses with strong brands in premium segments.

“As the trading and transaction multiples of Australian food and beverage companies are often lower than equivalent companies in North America or Europe, we will continue to see strong interest from international buyers seeking the opportunity to purchase good quality companies for a reasonable price that are well positioned to benefit from growing Asian demand,” he said.

 

Smirnoff announces premium vodka – just for travellers

Smirnoff is releasing a super-premium vodka – Smirnoff White, which is available exclusively for travellers.

The liquid has been freeze filtered at -6°C, where the vodka is chilled to below freezing point and passed through state-of-the-art charcoal filters to create a smooth taste.

Smirnoff White will be available in pop-ups in airports around the globe, where travellers can sample and purchase the vodka.

Steve White, Global Marketing Director of Diageo Global Travel and Middle East (GTME), said: “Smirnoff White is a truly exciting vodka which reflects the pioneering spirit of Vladimir Smirnoff. The innovative freeze filtration process guarantees an exceptionally smooth taste which will appeal to travellers the world over.”

“We’ve chosen duty free as the sole global outlet for Smirnoff White in order to reward travellers who seek unique offerings to enhance their experiences and to serve as a memento of their travels.”

Smirnoff White is best served neat or over ice, but can also be enjoyed as part of cocktails. From this week, Smirnoff White will be rolled out to duty free stores across the globe exclusively for travellers, at a recommended retail price of £21.00 ($37 AUD) for 1 litre.

In April, in response to the rising demand for sugar free products, Diageo Australia announced the launch of sugar free variants of its popular ready-to-drink lines; Smirnoff Ice Double Black and UDL.

 

Chinese infant milk crackdown hurts Australian exports

Infant milk formula exports to China have plummeted due to new registration requirements.

The ABC reports that imported brands of infant formula in the country have slumped from 1,000 to under 100.

The crackdown on fake brands has led to much tougher registration requirements, and of 19 infant milk formula brands from Australia, only two have been approved by the Chinese Certification and Accreditation Administration.

Exports were previously growing strongly, and were worth $76 million last year, up from $56 million in 2011.

As the Wall Street Journal explains, the crackdown caps a “six-year campaign to rebuild China's dairy industry after a scandal over melamine-tainted baby milk in 2008 put local brands under a cloud.” The melamine scandal saw the deaths of a reported six infants.

The process to meet the new standards was described as “extremely intense” by Australian Dairy Park, one of only two Australian producers that have gained accreditation.

“It was a very thorough audit, from traceability all the way through the system,” the company’s general manager, Ken Thomas, told the ABC.

“The actual audit itself was a fairly intense one-day audit. It was really three months of solid work before the audit.

“So the period between the start of this year and March was primarily not spent on manufacture but on preparing ourselves for registration.”

 

Entries now open for the Sydney International Wine Competition

The 34th Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC) – the only international wine competition that judges its 400+ finalists in combination with suitable food – has opened for entries for the 2015 competition.

With no minimum production requirements, it is one of the few international wine shows available to experimental and small makers to test their wines beside major producers. 

The competition is open to grape wines from all countries, but the competition can only accept a maximum of 2000 wines for judging, on a first come first served basis. 

Competition director of the Sydney International Wine Competition, Warren Mason, said the show favours food friendly wines of balance and harmony that are immediately attractive for use with food. 

“A wine that is successful in traditional wine shows often tastes quite different when matched with food.  Each year, we have first time entrants who, because of the nature of traditional wine shows, have been reluctant to enter their wines.  This show offers the opportunity for their wines to show their true qualities,” Mason said.

“Our show offers comprehensive feedback for winemakers through the individual judges’ comments on the Award winning wines, published on the competition’s website.  But the main aim of the Sydney International Wine Competition is to help consumers confidently select wines – at different price points -that are more appropriate for dining,” he said.

The competition will be judged by an international panel of judges in mid-October. The panel includes six senior winemakers, five Masters of Wine and two Master Sommeliers, drawn from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and UK.

Award winners will be notified in November, with trade and public tastings held in Sydney in early February 2015.

For more information, or an entry form, click here.

 

New Senate should let carbon tax go: Teys

Meat processor Teys Australia has urged the new Senate to allow the federal government to fulfill its election pledge to repeal the carbon tax.

The Land reports that Teys’ general manager Tom Maguire made a statement yesterday claiming a “direct link” between scrapping the tax and increased competitiveness.

“It’s quite clear that manufacturers are closing down across the country, due in part to unnecessary costs and charges on business,” said Maguire.

“While eliminating the carbon tax is only scratching the surface of what needs to be done, it’s an important first step and will stimulate business investment.”

Other concerns identified by Teys included industrial relations and opening new markets.

Teys employs 4,500 across the country, with several sites in regional Australia.

There is a record 18 crossbenchers in the new Senate, which will sit for the first time at the beginning of next month.

The Australian Financial Review points out that the success of bills repealing the former government’s carbon tax are not guaranteed success, following a series of strident comments from Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer.

The PUP has three Senators.

Image: https://www.itbdigital.com/

Australian Made to launch “Get The Australian Advantage” campaign

The
Australian Made Campaign is launching an initiative to promote country of
origin labelling tomorrow.

The
campaign, which is the only in Australia administering the Australian Made,
Australian Grown logo, will launch “Get The Australian Advantage”, which will
run throughout next month.

“Research shows that country-of-origin branding has a direct
impact on purchasing behaviours, in Australia and overseas – and our reputation
for making and growing products and produce is strong on both fronts,” said the
organisation’s chief executive, Ian Harrison, in a statement.

“The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is by far the
most recognised and trusted country-of-origin symbol for Australia, so we are
encouraging businesses to use the logo in their marketing efforts, providing of
course that their products are eligible.”

The AMAG logo will celebrate its 28th anniversary this year. The non-profit AMC is funded by the licence fees members
pay to display the distinctive logo.

Harrison
describes the logo as a great asset for manufacturers and primary producers,
and worth including in a company’s marketing efforts.

“We are urging businesses to ‘Get the Australian Advantage’
by leveraging this powerful marketing tool,” he said.

For more on Australian Made, click here.

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