Black Garlic is described as the ‘Ultimate flavour-packed fine food ingredient’. With the help of FIAL’s Australian Food and Beverage Catalogue, food distributors, services, and garlic lovers around Australia and beyond are learning about and gaining access to this exciting product.
Hailing from Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands of NSW, Garlicious Grown is a unique company with an even more unique product offering - black garlic. Value-adding to locally sourced cloves by transforming the traditional white garlic to black, has been the focus of the company over the past seven years. The focus in recent times has been an expansion of the product line to include goods such as black garlic aioli, powders, dressings and much more. Processing over 3.5 tonnes of garlic annually the company has seen a boom in recent years, now supplying to food service partners and wholesalers across Australia, including meal delivery service HelloFresh. With accolades including prizes at the Australian Food Awards and Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards, co-founder Cathy Owen says that while these awards help in boosting the profile of their product, they still struggle with consumer awareness around what black garlic is, its benefits and uses. This lack of knowledge around the product has seen the challenge for Garlicious Grown become the successful penetration into new markets, particularly those that aren’t familiar with the product.
Over the past 18 months more people have been “looking to experience the world through their cooking, COVID was the ideal time for experimenting with new products”, hence being more open to novel food products such as Garlicious Grown’s black garlic. This trend has led to the company to look for ways to capitalise, growing their online presence and therefore customer reach. This was undertaken with the hope of connecting not only to new individual buyers but also new markets, including increasing connections with potential overseas contacts.
Revamping their presence on the Australian Food and Beverage Catalogue (AFBC) has provided the business with the opportunity to do just that. Established by the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, trading as FIAL, the AFBC is a free online searchable directory, endorsed by Austrade and the Australian Government, connecting export-ready Australian food and beverage businesses with qualified international buyers. The AFBC has allowed Garlicious Grown to showcase their products to a range of buyers from around the world, many of which have led to conversations that would not have been possible without having such a profile.
The effect of Garlicious Grown’s presence on the platform has been significant with co-founder Cathy Owen saying, “We have been struck by what a successful strategy having our business on the Australian Food and Beverage Catalogue has been”. So successful that the business has received several enquiries from overseas buyers that have viewed their profile and array of products on the Catalogue, significantly contributing to Garlicious Grown’s consecutive years of 100% business growth. Such conversations have had a large impact on the business, with connections established on the AFBC leading to the brand now exporting worldwide to markets throughout the Middle East, China, and Singapore. With negotiations currently underway with suppliers met through the AFBC in Hong Kong and South Korea, awareness of black garlic is increasing exponentially. With more and more buyers and suppliers continually joining the platform, the opportunities are endless for the range of showcased businesses.
Case study developed by Lucy Hickman - Science and Food & Agribusiness Student at the University of Sydney