Archive for 'I went shopping today'

It’s big and it’s prickly

But what is it?

Jackfruit is what it is...

Jackfruit, for the information junkies out there, is the national fruit of Bangladesh, has been cultivated for over 6,000 years and is the largest tree fruit (a single fruit can weigh in at up to 36kg!).

Slice and dice your jackfruit

Jackfruit preparation instore.

When is a tomato not a tomato?

When it thinks it is a strawberry, of course!

Or so the labelling on this punnet would have you believe…


It was the first time I had seen this new variety packaged by NZ Hothouse, proudly on display at Farro’s so naturally I had to buy some to try.

Well, I have to say they didn’t taste like strawberries, so maybe the name has something to do with their shape.

So – novelty impulse purchase with the potential to be a regular addition to the tomato range that’s now available on the supermarket? 

I don’t know, but I was curious enough to look out for them when I next happened to be in a “mainstream” supermarket, in this case a Countdown, but they weren’t to be found.  Did this mean that they are still a niche enough offering to be available only to the gourmands who frequent the specialist food stores or was I simply in the wrong Countdown?

At the Markets Part Three – The New Zealand Visitor

And by New Zealand visitor I don’t mean me!

No, having gone past the sushi and the asparagus, I came across some product from The Yummy Fruit Company:

It’s great to see our apples here, and at such a good price.  That’s Euros on that ticket, which roughly translates to NZ $6.80.  If it moves at that price, that’s got to be good news for the grower.

All good, then.

Well, no actually.

I have concerns about what I’m seeing here.

Yummy is supposedly a premium brand.  Is the size of the fruit, the shape, colour or skin markings seen in the photo above typical of a premium grade Braeburn?  I think not. 

So what gives?  I know John Paynter, founder and guardian of the brand, well enough to think that he would have concerns too.  Can New Zealand really afford to be sending subpar fruit to one of its most important markets and hope to maintain good grower returns? 

I really hope your answer is the same as mine:  NO. 


At the Markets Part Two: The Regional Focus

I’m still enjoying Nuremberg’s market…and the more I think about it, the more I think that such markets are using their ability to focus on seasonal and local produce as their main marketing tool, their real point of difference – which is why the sushi in the previous post really stuck in my mind.

This market has survived very nicely by serving the Nuremberg inner city dwellers with very local and seasonal produce, as illustrated below:

Fresh Franconian asparagus.  Not German asparagus, or even Bavarian asparagus – but asparagus grown in the region of Franconia in the state of Bavaria.  Nuremberg happens to be the largest city in Franconia with a population of just over 500,000 in the city itself – including the suburbs that figure rises to 1.2million. 

In contrast, the local discounters like Aldi and Lidl stock asparagus from 4-5 different regions all year round.

Which one do you find more appealing?

They’re selling our fruit here

I travel half way around the world, and what’s the first thing I see upon entering a supermarket in Rotterdam?

This was during the industry tour mentioned a blog post or so back – so I was in the company of other IFPS members from countries such as the US, Canada, South Africa, and Chile.  They were extremely envious and wanted to know how I had managed to get the display put there just for the benefit of the tour!  Much as I would like to think I have that much influence in the global produce industry, I had to come clean and admit that it was all Zespri’s doing.  This image is a wonderful example of New Zealand’s success in the international produce industry.

I have discussed Zespri in previous posts, and say what you like about them (and Turners & Growers have had a lot to say) regarding the single desk position they hold over New Zealand’s kiwifruit exports, but you cannot deny that Zespri is extremely effective at selling kiwifruit for value added prices in the very competitive international market.

Question is, can Zespri’s success be emulated in other New Zealand produce categories without single desk structures and government regulations?