Food Industry Innovation

Global food and beverage trends and your business

The consumer making considered choices based on their health, their family, environment, local economy, animal welfare and conditions for food industry workers is currently the number one global trend according to international food and beverage commentator Professor David Hughes. Professor Hughes spoke to more than 100 WA food and beverage industry attendees at two seminars hosted by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Food Industry Innovation project in Busselton and Wanneroo in October 2018.

A key focus of the Food Industry Innovation project is to help WA producers understand global food trends and find new market opportunities.

Professor David Hughes speaking at the global food trends seminar in Wanneroo
Professor David Hughes at the Global food industry trends seminar held in Wanneroo.

Known as 'Dr Food' by his blog followers, Professor Hughes is Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London and an advisor on international food organisation boards, who travels the world consulting to businesses, trade associations and governments.

Professor Hughes’ most recent visit to WA provided timely, relevant insights on food production, packaging and consumption, and on how global consumer and retail trends might affect local businesses and industry.

Global consumer trends included the increase in single person households, influential younger and more demanding tech savvy shoppers and more affluent but time poor customers. Food choices are increasingly being met by out of home, takeaway, ready meals and meal kits. Consumers are looking for more convenient yet customisable diets to satisfy a number of eating approaches such as vegetarian and dairy-free as a long-term way to enhance their quality of life. ‘Snackified eating’ is on the rise and protein is increasingly being found in meat alternatives as ‘flexitarians’ or part time vegetarians choose to eat less meat.

Professor Hughes said the desire for artesian experiences paves the way for premium products to tell a story and that the margin for sellers was in using adjectives (such as fresh, local, organic, farmer’s name) to tell that story.

Above all, ‘mindful choice’ stands out as the number one consumer mega trend and along with other personal, animal and industry concerns, recyclable and compostable packaging has become a necessary attribute. Social pressure is dictating purchasing decisions and consumers value transparency and traceability along with less processed more simple ingredient products.

Professor David Hughes at the Global food industry trends seminar held in Busselton.

Retail trends are also changing with e-commerce giants growing fast and leading the way. Successful omni-channel retailers simultaneously operate online, hypermarket, regular supermarket, metro stores and convenience store formats. Professor Hughes’s advice to WA businesses included to look at each route to the consumer and decide which best fits their product.

Reflecting the consumer trend of convenience and out of home eating, food service and food retail are merging. In Asia, the convenience sector is currently the fastest growing. Professor Hughes recommends assessing your portfolio to see what food-to-go customers you have and to ensure your products are snack-able as this is now 50% of the market.

“You need a snacking response! If not, you’re missing half the market!,” he said.

He also sees the trend of big food companies seeking out, buying and investing in small brands. Small brands are better at innovation and responding quickly to the market.

“There’s never been a better time to be a small brand,” Professor Hughes said.

Food Industry Innovation project manager Kim Antonio said the presentations were a valuable opportunity for premium food and beverage manufacturing businesses to hear firsthand global intelligence that could benefit their operations and support growth plans.

“Professor Hughes discussed significant, emerging trends, like packaging, health and wellbeing and environmental awareness and what they mean to the food and drink industry,” Mr Antonio said.

“The interactive presentations were particularly relevant to food and beverage manufacturing businesses in peri-urban areas, the grainbelt and in the South West, where there are a large number of premium producers and processors.”

Mr Antonio said it was once again a pleasure to host Professor Hughes and to provide the opportunity for Western Australian food and beverage businesses to interact and learn from his experiences.

(L-R) DPIRD Food Industry Innovation manager Kim Antonio, Prof David Hughes, City of Wanneroo Senior project manager Jim Singleton, DPIRD WA Premium Food Centre manager Jon Berry.

Following the Wanneroo seminar, 10 premium food, horticulture, gourmet processors and livestock companies participated in an ‘exporters roundtable’ hosted by DPIRD’s Asian Market Success project.

Professor Hughes provided commentary on a range of issues and opportunities for businesses currently exporting or contemplating expansion into export. The roundtable was an interactive event with businesses sharing specific issues and experiences relating to their products.

A video recording and the professor’s slide presentation is available on DPIRD Food Industry Innovation’s new past events and seminar resources webpage.

Expert initiative delivers tangible benefits to WA food and beverage businesses – apply now for funds in 2019

(L-R) DPIRD WA Premium Food Centre manager Jon Berry, Clairault Streicker wines Katie Masters, Whicher Ridge Wines Cathy Howard, Eagle Bay Brewing Co Adrian d’Espeissis, Minister for Agriculture and Food Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Happs Winery Leah Clearwater and DPIRD Food Industry Innovation project manager Kim Antonio.

Seven regional Western Australian businesses have been named in the first round of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Food Industry Innovation’s ‘Expert for a Day’ initiative.

Announced in a statement by the Minister for Agriculture and Food Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC in October, the businesses have each been awarded vouchers valued up to $2 000 to engage professionals to work with them on enterprise growth initiatives identified in their business plans. 

"Expert for a Day is part of a suite of programs aimed at supporting Western Australian business producing premium value-added products, particularly where we have identified high-growth, high-value markets,” the Minister said.

"The first round of recipients are using their vouchers on everything from e-commerce planning to packing and labelling consulting, giving our growing businesses the best possible chance at taking on the world."

Eligible businesses will have access to a range of industry experts whose skill sets address identified gaps including: branding, labelling and marketing advice; e-commerce expertise; in-market intelligence; logistics; sales capacity; pricing strategies; market and competitor analysis; food technology; and access to specialist knowledge in exporting premium food and beverages.

Expert for a Day is supporting the state’s premium food and beverage businesses break ground and deliver outstanding product to customers domestically and abroad.

Eighteen successful recipients awarded to date include:

  • Happs Wines
  • Sweeter Banana Co-Operative Limited
  • Clairault Streicker Wines
  • Eagle Bay Brewing Co
  • Australian Grown Superfoods Pty Ltd (Three Farmers)
  • Whicher Ridge Wines
  • The Lakehouse
  • Ryan’s Quality Meats
  • The Lupin Co
  • The Truffle & Wine Co
  • D.Jays Gourmet Pty Ltd
  • Mondo Doro Pty Ltd
  • Whipper Snapper Distillery
  • Dandaragan Organic Beef
  • Simmo’s Icecreamery
  • Organic and Biodynamic Meats Western Australia Co-operative Ltd
  • Bahen & Co Chocolate
  • Rocky Ridge Brewing Co Pty Ltd

Positive feedback provided by successful applicants who have completed their expert for a day placement:

“Our chosen expert was excellent to work with. They were engaged from the beginning and helped us prepare for the day to maximise benefits.”

“This programme is a great example of the department helping food businesses in a tangible way.”

“The conversation during the day demonstrated that we have a lot to gain from engagement with experts in the food business with high quality global experience.”

“When we are successful we will be able to look back and thank DPIRD for this valuable step up.”

“We would like to thank your team for this opportunity, for a small business it really makes a big difference.”

“The application and administration process was relatively easy to undertake and great assistance was provided when required.”


Registrations are open for participation in the Expert for a Day initiative in 2019.

For more information, contact the Food Industry Innovation team via email at

E-commerce opportunities in China and South East Asia

As growth of online shopping and the global e-commerce sector expands rapidly the timing couldn’t have been better for the delivery of two e-commerce masterclasses to Western Australian agrifood business.

Map of the world showing e-commerce sales by region in USD billions: China 366.28, USA 312.06, United Kingdom 73.46, Japan 72.58, Germany 44.09, India 21.65, Canada 17.96, Australia 15.02, South Korea 4.4, France 3.5
2016 Retail E-commerce sales worldwide. Image source: E-commerce guide (Austrade).

Two e-commerce masterclasses, one focussing on China and one on South East Asia, were held in August at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s South Perth office and made available to regional Western Australia via video conferencing technology.

The masterclasses aimed to upskill export ready businesses about the online marketing arena with a diverse program including an overview of major online players, how to increase website traffic and tools for ever increasing and important social media.

An impressive line-up of internationally located speakers included Mr Richard Ruddy, RedMart vice president, a leading online supermarket in Singapore, Mr Kenneth Xu from SF Express, the second largest courier service in China, Mr Al Liang from China Certification and Inspection Group and Ms Sandra Lim and Mr Kong Cheng from Austrade Malaysia. They shared valuable insights and tips on trade in their regions.

Local experts included Mr Jack Lu from Austrade and Mr Darren Levy from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia.

Mr Lu, an e-commerce specialist provided an in-depth session titled ‘navigating e-commerce’ which gave a broad understanding of e-commerce in Asia including emerging trends and industries, major South East Asia e-commerce platforms, and how to retail your product online, including the logistics of distribution and marketing. He used interesting case studies to highlight the pathways into the variety of e-commerce platforms available in each country.

Tradestart advisor Mr Levy talked about ‘pre-market due diligence’ in an interactive session where participants were shown available online tools to help choose their export markets. The session also covered harmonised system (HR) codes, reading market trends, comparing free trade agreement advantages and navigating import and export requirements.

(L-R) DPIRD Food Industry Innovation project manager Kim Antonio, Austrade manager Belinda Hay, Austrade e-commerce specialist Jack Lu and CCIWA Tradestart advisor Darren Levy.

Masterclass participants, from a broad cross section of the food and beverage industry, all provided positive feedback in terms of the content and quality speakers. They all indicated a better understanding of e-commerce platforms and planned to apply knowledge learned to their businesses in the near future.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Food Industry Innovation project presented the e-commerce masterclasses in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia.

The masterclass was filmed and will soon be available on the Food Industry Innovations new past events and seminar resources webpage.

Businesses embrace supply chain automation

Understanding the technology that is becoming necessary to meet the requirements of your trading partners was a motivator for hosting the ‘Embrace the supply chain revolution’ workshops. Held on 9 and 10 August in South Perth and Margaret River, “get on board with warehousing technology” was the takeout message.

GS1 Australia manager Terry Papadis works with Mark Andrew and Vicki Shina of Marvick Native Farms.

The workshops, presented in partnership by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Food Industry Innovation project and AusIndustry (within the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science) and delivered by GS1 Australia, were attended by value-adding food and beverage businesses from across the supply sector.

Terry Papadis, GS1 Australia manager said he wants to remove the fear of automation and help businesses understand the benefits of embracing technology.

“This workshop is about changing mindsets and providing small steps to develop and apply technology and automation to their businesses,” Mr Papadis said.

“The rest of the world is moving ahead, I’d like to challenge everyone in the room to think about how we can improve what we do and not risk being left behind.

“You need to take the next step, invest and introduce a level of technology that will assist you to meet the requirements of your trading partners and help build your business,” he said.

Upskilling participants on the requirements to supply into contemporary automated warehouses and online platforms such as Alibaba and Amazon included awareness around the role of automation in the supply chain and learning the art of survival. Topics also covered opportunities, benefits and challenges of change along with practical tips on how to take the next steps for your business.

Key opportunities for applying automated technology to grow business were identified as:

  • data flow and capture to assist business decisions
  • implementing bar codes
  • stock control and stocktake
  • interoperability - where data is structured to work across multiple trading partners
  • meeting compliance/accountability standards
  • the benefit of graduate students to complete small projects.

Businesses were also shown a vision of ‘Industry 4.0’ the fourth and next industrial revolution of technology. The rise of not only system automation but artificial intelligence will lead to system autotomy, self-correction, self-optimisation and could be a reality for the near future.

(L-R) GS1 Australia principal consultant Earl Lappen, Western Salt Refinery’s Andrew Smith, DPIRD Food Industry Innovation project manager Kim Antonio, Pressed Earth Juices co-owner Luke Kelsey, Swan Valley Honey’s Debbie Starr, AusIndustry business advisor Gabor Hernadi, GS1 Australia manager Terry Papadis, Mondo Doro Smallgoods manager Adrian Rapanaro and DPIRD client engagement advisor Amelia De Groot.

DPIRD’s Food Industry Innovation manager Kim Antonio said the workshops were a great example of the FII project’s ongoing collaboration with AusIndustry’s Entrepreneurs program, delivering training programs to the food and beverage value adding sector in Western Australia.

“We regularly deal with businesses who are transitioning to working with larger buyers who operate automated warehousing facilities.

“These workshops provide an excellent introduction to the types of technologies that WA food and beverage businesses require to allow them to supply into such facilities,” Mr Antonio said.

Positive feedback was received from attendees who indicated an increased level of knowledge following the workshop and rated the usefulness, theory and opportunity to participate highly. Comments included “we are a growing business and this topic was most useful in our development”, “perfect, answered all the questions I had and some of the ones I didn’t even know I should be asking!” and “the presenters were both hugely knowledgeable but also able to personalise their information to the various attendees”.

The South Perth session was filmed and will be posted in the WA Food and Beverage Network Facebook group when available.

For more information about upcoming workshops please contact the team at

Marketing food and beverage in a changing world

John Stanley at the Denmark retail marketing workshop.

Global markets, and how to increase value for agricultural products were some of the insights provided by horticulture and retail expert John Stanley at retail marketing workshops held in Denmark in August and Katanning in November 2018.

Known as ‘the retail guru’ by many of his clients and with over 40 years’ experience, John Stanley is a world-class trainer and facilitator and global agri-tourism consultant. He is also the owner of the award-winning food and beverage business Chestnut Brae.

Mr Stanley shared his experience with businesses providing marketing and retail advice, consumer analysis, value-add opportunities, tips on store layout and flow and principles of customer engagement.

“The key is to develop a marketing opportunity for the business by understanding the needs of the consumer,” Mr Stanley said. 

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Premium Food Centre manager Jon Berry said these workshops were delivered to assist the diverse array of agribusinesses in regional Western Australia. 

“It is inspiring to see many growing and expanding businesses in the premium food and beverage sector,” he said.   

“The participants were provided with strategies to enhance business viability and growth.      

 “These workshops will really assist our regional businesses by helping them to development a marketing toolkit and enabling them to capitalise on market opportunities”.

Funded by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Food Industry Innovation project, the retail marketing workshops were presented with support from the Great Southern Development Commission, Denmark Chamber of Commerce and the Albany Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.

Future workshops and masterclasses are planned for the Wheatbelt and Great Southern region in 2019. For further information contact the Food Industry Innovation team at

(L-R) Elixir Raw Honey’s Romy Surtees, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Denmark’s Liz Jack, Deanna Forster and DPIRD Albany’s Karlee Bertola attended the retail marketing workshop in Denmark.

Trade & export masterclass, dairy and wine workshops

The Food Industry Innovation project recently supported three regional workshops supporting the Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance, Dairy Australia and Wine Australia.

Bunbury Geographe masterclass series centres on trade and export

DPIRD Premium Food Centre manager Jon Berry speaks at the trade and export forum in Bunbury.

Getting export ready was on the agenda for around 20 regional businesses who attended a trade and export forum, part of a Masterclass series, held in Bunbury in early November 2018.

The Masterclass series is a key initiative for the Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance (BGEA), supporting its members, businesses region wide and the local food and beverage industry on their quest to conquer barriers to export.

Chris McNamara CEO of the BGEA said the forum helped answer many questions the businesses had including is their business ready to export, opportunities in the China market and how to overcome barriers to export.

“Our first class was an introduction to the work of Tradestart and how to organise financing opportunities in the Chinese Market,” Mr McNamara said.

“The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented on international engagement and insights and perspectives on doing business internationally and the South West Development Commission presented on Tradestart and other funding opportunities available to exporters”.

A trade promotion opportunity for premium wine and food businesses was presented by the Bunbury – Jiaxing Business Development Office who provided examples of their services, how to find suitable markets and an introduction to the city of Jia-Xing. The Office facilitates trade along with education and cultural relationships between the sister cities.

Efic, the Australian Government’s export credit agency described who they are and how they can help. Success stories including a micro wine business, blueberry variety breeder and a contractor providing services for the mining, oil and gas industries formed part of their presentation. Further information and resources are available on the Efic website.

Jon Berry, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s WA Premium Food Centre manager spoke about the Food Industry Innovation project. Services offered to support the growth of Western Australia’s regional premium value add food and beverage producers included independent market research, a new business support initiative Expert for a Day and a series of capability building workshops.

Mr Berry said he was pleased to be a part of collaborative efforts to boost exporting in the Bunbury Geographe region and emphasised the department was keen to engage with businesses manufacturing food and beverages across the state.

Participants had the opportunity for round table discussions with the speakers following the event.

The trade and export forum was presented in partnership by the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business South West, Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance, South West Development Commission and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Future export events will be scheduled by the BGEA, contact for more information.


Accelerate your dairy business growth

(L-R) DPIRD/Great Southern Development Commission’s Jess Ngeh, Over the Moon’s Juliett Bateman, Nannygoat Junction’s Julie Howe, Department of Health WA’s Stan Goodchild, DPIRD Albany’s Kaylene Parker, Dellendale Creamery’s Sheryn Prior, Porongurup Pure’s Nicole Clements.

Tools to develop a successful dairy processing business were the focus of the ‘Accelerate your dairy business growth’ workshop offered by the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development’s Food Industry Innovation project in Albany in August 2018.

In partnership with Dairy Australia, Department of Health, Western Australia and the federal government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources the workshop was presented by Mike Harley from XPotential and attended by local industry members.

The Department of Health WA provided instruction on how to manage domestic and export regulatory requirements and key learnings around understanding domestic and export market opportunities were presented by XPotential. Marketing and branding advice allowed for identification of growth strategies in the domestic markets.

Workshop attendees from small to medium sized dairy processing enterprises gained valuable knowledge and learned skills to assist them in their business growth journey.

Participants expressed positive feedback of attendance including:

  • the benefit of facilitating collaboration with other businesses
  • the opportunity for specific one-on-one branding advice
  • the opportunity to meet with the Department of Health and other levels of government to establish contacts for future assistance.

The Food Industry Innovation project is helping Western Australia’s premium food and beverage businesses achieve their growth plans by offering a range of tools and support services to address their needs, gaps and barriers to domestic and international growth.

For more information about upcoming workshops please contact the team at email or phone +61 (0)8 9892 8415.


Growing wine exports

Wine businesses in Western Australia were recently provided the opportunity to develop and fine-tune their export strategies to take advantage of Australia’s current strong wine export growth. 

Great Southern wine businesses attend the Albany workshop.

Through the Growing Wine Exports Program coordinated by Wine Australia, workshops were held in Margaret River, the Swan Valley and Albany during October 2018.

Experts in the wine sector provided participants with new tools and strategies for navigating export markets in addition to receiving useful examples provided by wineries who have ‘been there and done that’. They also provided practical advice on protecting brands and calculating risk.

Participants in the workshop received automatic registration to Wine Australia’s online learning portal – a one-stop shop for advice and assistance on growing export opportunities plus access to a dedicated Twitter account (@exportingwine) and a Facebook page (Growing Wine Exports) to support participants in their continuous learning.

The workshops were presented with cooperation and support from the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development, the Great Southern Development Commission and the Great Southern Wine Producers Association.

Western Australian wine businesses are invited to use the Growing Wine Exports resources available from Wine Australia.

2019 workshop planning – have your say now

The Food Industry Innovation business capability building program offerings for the first half of 2019 will include:


Marketing food and beverages in a change world – John Stanley Associates

Aimed at agricultural producers and processors to help realise market opportunities taking into consideration changing consumer and retail demands. Attendees develop a greater understanding of global retail trends and consumer analysis and the contents of a marketing toolkit.

  • One day masterclass (co-contribution of $150 with limited numbers available). Aimed at those who want to develop a practical and strategic marketing plan to grow their business. Ideally (but not compulsory), you will have previously completed the half day workshop.
    • Denmark - 7 February 2019
  • Half day workshops (free)
    • Geraldton – 19 February 2019 (jointly sponsored by DPRID and the City of Greater Geraldton)
    • Chittering/Gingin – 28 February 2019
    • Bunbury – 25 June 2019
    • Merredin – 26 June 2019


Market diversification (jointly sponsored by DPIRD, FIAL and AusIndustry)

This workshop will focus on growing sales through increasing and diversifying customer bases over a number of sales channels (including retail, hotel/restaurant/café - HORECA, food service and consumer direct) and over a number of geographical areas (including Perth metro, Western Australia, eastern states of Australia and export markets).

  • South Perth – 26 March 2019
  • Busselton – 27 March 2019


In partnership with Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) we will also be offering the following courses, dates to be determined:

  • Win-win negotiation workshop
  • Engagement protocol program
  • IP Protection
  • International brand building
  • Export development workshops (basic, intermediate and advanced) – if enough interest is received.

We welcome your feedback and expression of interest in these workshops and invite your suggestions for others topics that may benefit your business.

Please contact the team via