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Australia’s Pinnacle Fresh presents ‘Wickedly’ healthy citrus

Pinnacle Fresh, based in Melbourne, Australia, has been invested in the citrus space for the past 10 years.

“We started aggregating for domestic supply to Australian retail firstly and then moved into export markets approximately five years ago with a focus on retail in the United States,” said Jordan Bain, co-founder and sales director of Pinnacle Fresh. “Our intended focus on the U.S. market is to grow sustainably with volume increases of 8 to 15 percent year on year.”

Pinnacle Fresh is an aggregator of supply and works closely with its grower partners to deliver sustainable retail programs built on a foundation of solid brand marketing. For example, the company developed the Dracula Citrus brand to give retailers a point of difference on imported Australian citrus. In the U.S., Halloween is used to promote its “Wickedly Healthy Offer.”

IMG 0891“Success is defined in many forms— sales, volume growth, increased market share and social proof as examples,” Bain said. “To win in all areas it takes a dedicated team with real passion to drive and grow the brand. Success for Pinnacle Fresh is also defined by the customer and stakeholders in the supply chain.”

Pinnacle Fresh has grown its market share globally in 2019 as Australian citrus has benefitted from positive trade deals negotiated by the Australian government.

“We have seen little to no effect from the trade tension between U.S. and China as an example,” Bain said. “It’s with negotiated market access that lifts the overall economic metrics for Australian growers and producers. The positive flow on effects are largely seen in return farmgate prices, which have been increasing year on year for the past 5 or 6 years now.”

The Australian citrus season has just finished and while it’s too early to tell how the 2020 crop will play out, there are some ominous signs early on. Many parts of the country are in significant drought, which increases the cost and availability to water, which could be a telling factor for the 2020 crop. The risk of small fruit and lower crop yields are very much on the horizon.

“The biggest challenge is managing the growth and continual development of our brand globally,” Bain said. “We have to be sustainable in order to deliver a quality product. Get this wrong and the brand will suffer significantly.”

Most in the industry are investing in new technology to help with the challenges.

“Australian farmers are right up there with the best in the world. Investment into new tech is always something we are encouraging,” Bain said. “Myself, I particularly like the use of drones and crop monitoring with drone power. The software and AI development is happening at an incredible rate, which is allowing farmers more time to focus on the jobs which require manual inputs.”

Looking ahead, Bain said the company is excited about the development of its brand further in the Asian markets, particularly with retail, and expects to see significant growth from this market in 2020.

“Pinnacle Fresh will be looking to expand the team both in the U.S. and Australia in 2020 as well,” Bain said. “Keep an eye out for our Premium Tasmanian and New Zealand Cherry Bliss label during January and February. You haven’t had a real cherry until you’ve eaten a Cherry Bliss.”

With Halloween in the rear view mirror, Bain would like to see retailers put premium Australian-grown citrus in stores backed up by the Pinnacle Fresh brand, delivering the message to the consumers, “Wickedly healthy consumption of citrus.”

“They can turn a commoditized category into a story by using in-store theatre,” Bain said.