Page 26 - Food & Drink Magazine May 2021
P. 26

                FRESH & CHILLED
 Mushrooms in the spotlight
After recognising a gap in consumers’ knowledge, the Costa Group looked to its packaging to help educate people on ways to use and how to cook mushrooms. Kim Berry looks at what’s in the box.
 COSTA marketing and innovation manager – mushroom category Elisa Siliato says there are five types of mushroom buyers and only one of those loves them and buys them every week.
“There are those who don’t use them unless a recipe calls for them, people who don’t really know what to do with
them or don’t know the difference between varieties, and then those who know they are good for you but don’t know why. We knew we had to educate people,” Siliato says.
The result was Mush-Boom, a consumer-facing advocacy brand using packaging as the main player. “We gave mushrooms a voice, personality, vibrancy and appeal,” she says.
The first step was to promote the nutritional benefits on the
packaging. A QR code lets consumers find out more about its nutrients as well as how they are grown and
recipes to try.
On the packaging is the
variety’s name, Costa’s quirky
descriptive name, and the best occasion to use that mushroom type.
“The Flavour Saviour is the Swiss Brown because they are so jam-packed with flavour, they dial up taste in any meal. The Big Allrounder is for the Portobello Flat mushrooms because they are exactly that – a big, great substitute for steak on the barbecue or for stuffing,” Siliato explains.
The packaging is 100 per cent recyclable where possible. Siliato says all the packaging with exception of the stretch wrap on pre-packs is recyclable.
“We are committed to finding
a fully recyclable packaging solution. It’s a balancing act to manage sustainability and food waste, but we don’t shy away from looking for a solution,” she says.
Pre-packaged mushrooms are transported in recyclable carrier trays and the mushrooms packed in PET recycled materials.
Costa has plans underway to move to rPet soon, as part of its ongoing mission to ensure sustainability throughout its supply chain. ✷
     The good, tasty & fugly
 The staggering amount of food waste we produce prompted Richard Turino to launch Australia’s first fresh food delivery service of rescued fruit and vegetables.
Kim Berry writes.
GOOD & Fugly is intent on rescuing wonky, quirky, and misshapen fruit and vegetables from adding to Australia’s food waste statistics. As it stands, up to a quarter of produce grown in Australia is not even leaving the farm.
Founder Richard Tourino said the cosmetic standards of supermarkets were sending perfectly good food to landfill.
“Thirty per cent of all the world’s farmland is used to produce wasted food. Good & Fugly is on a mission to make saving the planet affordable, convenient, and delicious. We’re going to give those imperfect fugly fruits and veggies a chance,” Tourino says.
The start-up is offering a small or large box home delivered for $39 and $59 respectively, including delivery. The small box feeds around two people for up to five days while
the big box will feed up to five. Deliveries are currently
available in Sydney, with plans to go nationwide.
“We want Good & Fugly to be a nationwide offering, we can see the waste issue and we know consumers are keen to make a positive impact by jumping on board the fugly revolution. We’re also encouraging farmers to get in touch with us so their quirky, misshaped produce doesn’t go to waste,” says Tourino.
NSW Circular CEO Lisa McLean says it is encouraging to see initiatives like Good & Fugly unlock new produce markets and in doing so reduce
waste and carbon emissions. “Most people would not know
that a quarter of fruit and veggie produce never leaves the farm simply because it is considered ‘ugly’. It tastes great and people want to eat it, but this narrow view of quality food is contributing to unnecessary and significant wastage.
“In fact, three per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions come from organic waste,” McLean says.
Tourino hopes Good & Fugly will help more people realise that the fruit and veg might look quirky, but its nutritional value and taste is perfect. ✷
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