Home > New packaging technology reinvigorates Aussie beet industry

New packaging technology reinvigorates Aussie beet industry

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OneHarvest, one of Australia’s largest fruit and vegetable growing companies has licenced innovative British technology to reinvigorate the nation’s beetroot industry.

The once flourishing industry has taken a number of hits in recent years from cheap imported product, cannery closures and the exit of major processor Heinz. Entrepreneur Dick Smith made a concerted effort to save the industry by purchasing a canned crop of beetroot in 2012, only to be forced into a public giveaway when supermarkets refused to stock them.

However as The West reportsOneHarvest’s Love Beets however may just prove to be what the industry needs. Unlike the traditional forms sliced, cubed and canned beetroot that many Australians are used to, Love Beets are fresh-cooked baby beetroot that are packed into a vacuum-sealed pouch.

"It's quite a different product to what's been traditionally sold in the Australian market," Munton told The West.

"Beetroot is an iconic Australian flavour and the market has traditionally been with the beetroot in vinegar, sugar and basically cooked - stewed - in a can.

"With Love Beets, the beetroot is taken as a completely fresh baby beetroot that's peeled, nothing added and then that's placed into a vacuum-packed pouch and cooked in the pouch."

The technology was founded in England over 20 years ago where the licenced field-to-supermarket process has proved to be highly successful.

The Victorian state government gave OneHarvest a $150,000 grant towards the completion of a new $3.8m factory in Bairnsdale, Victoria which will be used to pack Love Beets. The new facility has also created 30 new jobs across both Victoria and NSW.

Munton said that while Love Beets had its reservations about entering the Australian market, he believes that the company’s unique product offering which includes a range of flavoured beetroot packs, will appeal to a new, and possibly younger market.

"We think we're coming in with a completely different product," said Munton.

"It's not soft and mushy and been sitting in a can for 12 months.

"We don't see that we are competing at all with the canned beetroot."

Love Beets will be stocked in major supermarket retailers around the country as early to mid 2014.

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