The Australian Prune Industry Association took their healthy messages about prunes north, exhibiting at the Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show in late October. Download the AusPrunes newsletter here or continue reading below.

It’s the first time APIA has exhibited in Queensland, and APIA Promotions Coordinator Jane McCorkell said Brisbanites were quick to embrace prunes.

“Our messaging was consistent with previous shows where we promoted prunes as being, Australian-grown, delicious, versatile and nutritious. We also mentioned gut and bone health at every opportunity.

“And similarly, we had an overwhelmingly positive response to Aussie prunes,” she said. “People thanked us for being at the show, reminding them that prunes were still available.

“Young children enjoyed tasting prunes for the first time. They were not alone, with some adults admitting to trying prunes for the first time in their lives. Regardless of age, the majority of visitors to the stand really enjoyed sampling the prunes on offer.”

Following the success of the Sydney show, Becky Gilhespie, a MasterChef UK finalist and current chef at the Hill Bar & Restaurant in Gerringong, was engaged to help APIA at the event.

In addition to the dark chocolate, prune and ginger cake, Ms Gilhespie created a whipped feta and herb dip with a prune swirl for tasting. Over 2,000 cake and dip samples were given out over the three days.

“People who tried both the cake and the dip really did like them,” Ms McCorkell said.

“We handed out 1,500 recipes of each along with sweet and savoury recipe pads which contained 5 recipes in each (a total of 15,000).”

Ms McCorkell was joined by Yenda growers Peter and Sue Raccanello, David Swain from Sunbeam Foods, and Ms Gilhespie to provide a great mix of people on the stand. As a result, visitors engaged with the stand and were eager to learn more about growing, processing and cooking with prunes.

“People commented that they didn’t realise they could cook with prunes and really enjoyed being given some ideas through the tastings and recipe cards,” Ms McCorkell said.

While at the show APIA was provided with the opportunity to network with other standholders including: Beerenberg, Tom & Luke Snackballs, Kenilworth Dairies, Meredith Dairy, Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products & Gelato, and Moondarra Cheese & Divine Fruits.

“Beerenberg informed us that they are currently trialing prunes in their products as a direct result of meeting with APIA representatives at previous shows,” Ms McCorkell said. “This is exciting news for the industry and we eagerly await the innovative recipes Beerenberg staff conceive.

“In the meantime, APIA has begun compiling a database of companies that that use prunes as an ingredient in their products. We hope to establish where they are procuring their prunes from and in what form, with the view to assist with further targeting promotion.”

Ms McCorkell extended her gratitude to the Raccanellos, Mr Swain and Ms Gilhespie who added so much value to the stand through the information they provided about prunes to consumers.