NZ Tamarillo products heading to US

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New Zealand’s Tamarillo Co-operative has signed a major deal with a distributor allowing Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar to be sold in the US and Canada.

The first of shipment of tamarillo pulp has left Whangarei for US-based food producer and distributor, Serious Foodie. Tamarillos are processed into pulp and vinegar concentrate in New Zealand and exported to Serious Foodie in bulk. Florida-based Serious Foodie then makes the pulp into Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar.

Serious Foodie specialises in developing gourmet products for the home chef.

It introduced Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York at the end of June, receiving great feedback and so has started production. Serious Foodie Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar will sell online, at US farmers’ markets and be distributed to gourmet supermarkets and stores across the US and Canada.

New Zealand Tamarillo Co-operative Director and Manager, Robin Nitschke said, “It was a rewarding achievement after working on the deal for two and a half years.”

Serious Foodie first contacted the co-operative more than two years ago interested in expanding its range of high-end specialty products. It believed an exotic fruit like the tamarillo would appeal to their discerning customers.

As well as the US deal, the Co-operative is working on other export opportunities. Robin Nitschke said vinaigrette and relish will shortly be shipped to Brisbane and negotiations are under way for vinaigrette concentrate to be introduced to European and Asian markets in a variety of products.

Robin Nitschke, with five other grower members, established the Tamarillo Co-operative three years ago. “Our aim is to have more influence at the beginning of the supply chain by channeling fruit through one merchant and then providing more choices to add value to the fruit at the end of the supply chain,” said Nitschke.

Robin Nitschke said that after gaining recognition in 2016 as finalists in the NZ Food Awards Artisan category, supermarkets, specialty food outlets and food service companies have had good demand for the co-operative’s For the Love of Tams, Tamarillo Relish and For the Love of Tams, Tamarillo Vinegar Dressing.