New book defines strategy for superfruit success

Superfruit: They’re on everyone’s lips, and the minds of food business executives around the world.

London, May 14 2008: To consumers they mean health, taste and convenience, and to food companies they mean big business. Superfruits are revolutionising the way consumers relate to fruit and fruit-based products and they’re growing their market fast – from 40%-100% every year.

And yet so far, just a handful of fruits have crossed over from commodity status to superfruit stardom. Now, a new book is looking to change that, by providing a recipe for superfruit success that can be followed by marketers, R&D managers, ingredient manufacturers and growers alike.

“Successful Superfruit Strategy – How to build a superfruit business” is the answer for every fruit industry professional who has ever shaken their heads and wondered how to save fresh fruit consumption from flat-lining or how to use fruit to target the wellness foods trend.

The book’s Authors, Karl Crawford and Julian Mellentin, are well placed to provide answers: Mr Crawford is Business Leader for Health and Food at New Zealand’s world-renowned fruit science company HortResearch. Mr Mellentin has spent many years as a food industry analyst and consultant, and is also editor of New Nutrition Business Journal.

Both say their aim was not to merely commentate the superfruit trend, but instead to define the term ’superfruit’ and explain to businesses how they can develop a successful strategy to be part of the action.

“This isn’t a library book. It’s a business check-list – a ‘how to’ manual. The book’s key message is that Superfruit are a product of strategy, not something you find growing on a tree”, says Crawford.

“People think a superfruits are found just growing in an exotic forest somewhere. That’s just not true - you can create a superfruit.”

In the book, Crawford and Mellentin offer six defining characteristics they believe define a superfruit. These “six elements for superfruit success” cover aspects as diverse as fruit quality, science, marketing, IP protection and the broader consumer environment.

The basic premise is that the concepts and processes around each element are relatively straightforward, but when combined these criteria are enough to allow a fruit to achieve ‘critical mass’ as a superfruit.

Crawford and Mellentin examine superfruit strategies for beverages, fresh fruit and ingredient sectors and take a closer look at current and would-be superfruits through a number of detailed case studies.

“It is important to understand how existing superfruits earned their status so we can understand how to create more”, says Mellentin.

Both Authors are convinced that growth in the superfruit market is inevitable.

“You’re talking about niche products that sell at very high premiums in relatively low volumes. They reflect the diversity of consumer demand for functional foods, therefore there needs to be a large number of them, just as there are a large number of health and wellbeing issues consumers want to target through their diet,” says Mellentin.

“Superfruit are an established phenomenon. They are not a short-term trend that will die away. They are a fundamental part of strategy for beverages, fresh fruit and fruit ingredients and are shaping up to also play a very important role in developing new, natural sports nutrition products.

“Readers of the book will be inspired when they see the possibilities for joining and expanding the superfruit market. They see the trend. They know about the push towards health ingredients. Now we hope they will see that they can be a part of it”.

“Successful Superfruit Strategy – How to build a superfruit business” will be launched at the 2008 Global Berry Congress , London 15-16 May.

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