Functional and Luxury Foods Research Project

The Functional and Luxury Foods Research project was undertaken to provide the State Government and the South Australian food industry with a roadmap of where food and beverage value chains can be switched to higher value-added products and services, sought after by key Asian export markets, as well as the Australian domestic market.

From the research, two master research reports, Functional and Luxury Foods opportunities for South Australia in Asia (PDF 6.0 MB) and Luxury Wine opportunities for South Australia in Asia (PDF 3.8 MB) have been produced.

What did the project involve?

In February 2015, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) commissioned global research firm VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) to undertake a research study to explore the market opportunities for Functional and Luxury Foods in Asia and Australia and an implementation plan of short, medium and long-term options for the South Australian food industry.

As part of the research phase, VTT engaged South Australian organisations with functional and luxury food potential, holding interviews, workshops and information sessions to capture the views of different food-related areas, including food manufacturers, the packaging industry, research institutes and food associations.

VTT also worked with ESSEC Business School (Paris and Singapore), Frost and Sullivan (Australia) and the Monash Food Innovation Centre, to complete this stage of work. VTT completed the research phase of the Functional and Luxury Foods project in December 2015.

What were the key findings?

The findings of the Functional and Luxury Foods research suggested there are particular opportunities for the growth of South Australia’s food and beverage industry in functional foods, luxury food, wine, culinary tourism and packaging development. The key findings of the research have been captured in a short project summary (PDF 729.9 KB).

To support the research findings, six recommended pathways were presented on how South Australia could capitalise on the opportunities in functional and luxury foods. The pathways are:

  • Pathway 1: Upgrading food processing technology
  • Pathway 2: Functional food products
  • Pathway 3: Ingredients for functional foods
  • Pathway 4: Active, intelligent and polysensual packaging solutions for functional and luxury foods
  • Pathway 5: Luxury food business strategy uptake and export promotion
  • Pathway 6: Luxury wine-driven culinary tourism

Each pathway is intended to harness specific business opportunities for South Australia that were identified in the research. Policy recommendations and practical steps for industry and Government were also identified for each pathway.

As part of the research, local capacity development was identified along each pathway to address current knowledge gaps, including building business networks, driving innovation, use of technologies, and greater access to research and development, communications and engagement.

Implementation steps

The research phase of the Functional and Luxury Foods Project generated a significant amount of data, including detailed market intelligence and case studies. PIRSA has been working with Food South Australia, the Australian Wine Research Institute and the South Australian Research and Development Institute to consolidate this high volume of material into more user-friendly formats.

Research Publications

Industry Guidance Materials

A series of industry guidance materials has been developed to help businesses navigate the functional and luxury food markets. Go to the Industry guidance materials page.

Page Last Reviewed: 25 Jan 2017
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