A boom in the number of sprouts sold in Australia is hitting another milestone with the Australian market booming by more than $200 million a day.
The market is up 30 per cent from the same period last year, with the price of a handful of varieties of sprout on offer jumping by more the past 24 hours to a record of $872.7 million.
Sprouts are the mainstay of the Australian diet, and in recent years they have been a big driver of a boom in demand in China, where many of the varieties are grown.
Sprouts are a major part of the Chinese food culture, with people using them to prepare meals or as a condiment.
In 2018, the US market saw an increase in the sprouts used in dishes including pizza and fried rice.
“This is just another big jump in the supply chain for us,” said Andrew Rauh, the chief executive of the Australia-China Trade and Investment Council, an industry group.
A lot of the growth comes from the Asian market.
The sprouts are still relatively young, so it’s a relatively small amount of growth.
“The number of products that we sell are really quite limited, and that’s probably what’s really driving the demand,” he said.
The Australian market has grown from about 50,000 sprouts to more than 60,000 in the past year.
However, the country’s sprucing up has been uneven, with consumers switching between different varieties of plants.
Mr Rauho said the boom was mainly due to the availability of fresh varieties, such as red cabbage, spinach and broccoli, which are being grown in more and more areas.
“We’re seeing a lot more of those in our market and I think it’s due to a combination of factors,” he explained.
Mr Raeh said there were also many new varieties being developed, and there were growing concerns about food quality.
There are concerns that the Chinese have become more aggressive in their plant breeding, which is causing problems for the sprout industry, he said, and consumers are not buying what they want.
A lot more countries are looking at the sprouted market and trying to see how we can be a leader in this space, and if we can do that, we can take the spruce industry forward, he added.
It has been a good week for the Australian sprout market.
The country’s sprout exports have increased by more in the year to date than in the whole of 2018, with exports totalling $2.3 billion.
Some of the spruce products sold include a range of vegetable products, including cauliflower and kale, while a variety of sprouted nuts have also made a strong start in the market.