Snack Tomatoes New Product Development Through Eco-Co-Design
Fresh field snack tomatoes are principally grown in Queensland (Bowen, Bundaberg, and Darling Downs) and supply the southern States during the winter/spring months. These tomatoes are harvested all year by hand and include considerable labour cost and are a high value fresh product.
As the largest producer of field-grown snacking tomatoes in Australia, Sunripe’s production is valued at around A$40 million. A considerable volume of tomatoes produced is currently being wasted with an estimated amount of 6,000 tonnes and a market value of A$33 million.
Through this project, Sunripe will develop capabilities and in consequent stage invest in capacity to enable the regional waste transformation of snack tomatoes. The aggregated volume of the total regional snack tomatoes food waste is 21,000 tonnes with an estimated market value of A$105 million. This project estimates that 30% of this waste will be transformed into products with a total annual profit of A$22.7 million.
The aim of the project is to develop a range of up to three new products utilising waste (out of specification) Sunripe snack tomatoes as a predominant ingredient. The project will be implemented in four key stages which will result in the development of end products, formulations, processes, and specifications to enable the effective scale up and commercialisation of new products containing snack tomatoes. These stages are:
- Exploration – market assessment and review required technologies to enable the production of value-added snack tomato based products;
- Feasibility – desktop assessment on raw materials, formulations, processes, and regulatory considerations required to manufacture and market value added snack tomato-based products. Completion of qualitative market research on potential end products in order to determine consumer needs and drivers;
- Development – completion of product refinement, process development and Pilot Plant trials to determine production viability; end-product specification; and consumer testing on product prototypes; and
- Pre-Launch – development of product performance criteria to enable product scale up and commercialisation.
March 2022 – February 2024