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Australia a Key Market for US Fresh Fruit

Australia is a crucial market for U.S. fresh fruits because of the year-round demand for high-quality products. The U.S. has benefitted from a well-established reputation for producing quality and safe fruits. While demand for fresh fruit was low in Australia from 2018-2020, the fresh fruit industry has recovered, and demand will likely increase for the next five years.

Strong Market for U.S. Fresh Fruit

Australia is a well-developed market for fresh produce, including imports. The United States has a good reputation for supplying safe, high-quality produce. A major advantage for Northern Hemisphere growers looking to import into Australia is counter-seasonal growing (see Figure 1).

Behind New Zealand, whose top exports are avocados and kiwi, the United States is the second largest supplier of fresh fruits to Australia – with 41% of the market in 2022 (see Figure 2).

The leading fresh fruit imports into Australia from the United States include California table grapes, California stone fruit, citrus, California pomegranates, and California and Pacific Northwest cherries. In 2022, imports of California kiwifruit significantly increased due to Italian kiwifruit being shut out of the market.

Fruit Consumption Expects to Grow

Between 2018 and 2020, Australia saw a decrease in fruit consumption. This decrease was due to a drought in 2018 and 2019, limiting the supply. Prices for fresh fruit also increased while the supply was low, which deterred consumers from purchasing. When drought conditions ended in 2021, Australia saw an increase in consumption by 2%. Along with the supply returning, this increase was due to population growth, healthier eating, habits, and demand for convenience. Fresh fruit consumption increased from 2020 through 2022; however, in 2024 it will decrease while gradually increasing in 2025-26. (see Figure 5).

The Australian Government has funded initiatives to promote healthy eating increasing profits for the fruit industry. Food experts predict that the fresh fruit industry will benefit from changing dietary trends emphasizing fresh fruit consumption. Major supermarkets throughout Australia have also driven the growth in fresh fruit consumption and imports by offering customers a range of fresh produce products throughout the year. Woolworths, one of Australia’s biggest supermarkets, started a “Free Fruit for Kids” campaign. This campaign offers kids free apples, bananas, pears, and mandarins at the grocery store to help build healthy eating habits from an early age. Since the start of the campaign in 2015, over 14,000 tons of free fruit have been consumed by children.

Australian consumers have seen several trends change in the fresh fruit industry in the last few years. COVID-19 had a significant impact on consumer food purchasing behavior. One of the biggest trends to arise is the growth of online shopping, which wasn’t as prominent in Australia before the pandemic. Consumers are also choosing healthier options due to social influences and spending more time at home. Read the full report from the USDA Foreign Ag Service HERE.

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