NO longer the colour domain of marshmallows, Minties and musk sticks; strawberries will soon be available in pink and white.
The Australian berry industry today launched two new varieties to the market, with their distinct colouring hoping to catch the eyes of consumers.
Now, the industry just needs growers to grow them.
The strawberries are said to said have an intense strawberry aroma and an unusual appearance to the traditional image of the beloved berry.
Officially known as Pink and White, they have been specially bred for the Australian environment and offer superior overall quality, according to released information.
The strawberries are a result of a breeding collaboration between Hort Innovation and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF Qld).
The announcement was made at BerryQuest International 2022, the Australian berry conference happening on the Gold Coast this week.
Hort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield Pink and White strawberries are like nothing else on Aussie retail shelves.
"They're exceptional, and so they should be. They are the culmination of years of research, field trials, consumer preference testing and industry engagement," Mr Fifield said.
The new White strawberries are true to their name. On the inside, they are brilliant white.
On the outside, they are white with a pale pink blush and specked with red seeds.
The Pink strawberries have a peach pink exterior and also feature a white inside.
Hort Innovation and DAF Qld are seeking a suitable partner to commercialise the varieties, foster grower adoption and deliver marketing efforts to support consumer awareness.
The new strawberries are the first "novelty" varieties to be developed and commercialised through the partnership.
DAF Qld project lead Dr Jodi Neal said more than 40 per cent of strawberry fruit sold nationally in retail outlets had been developed through the research work of DAF Qld as part of its partnership with Hort Innovation.
"Over the past 10 years, we have developed 16 strawberry varieties that are bespoke to our Australian growing conditions and consumer palettes," Dr Neal said.
"It is great to see grower adoption of these varieties has grown over the past five years. In 2021, 45 per cent of the national planting was attributable to varieties developed by the program led by DAF QLD."
The commercial partner expression of interest will be advertised today and will close late September.
BerryQuest host Berries Australia executive director Rachel Mackenzie said new varieties were the way of the future for the strawberry industry.
"It's really exciting to see these new varieties reach this stage in the commercialisation process," she said.
"This is growers' levy funding coming to life before our eyes."
"Armed with all these bespoke varieties and a genuine interest in applying the latest research and development on farm, along with a drive to increase trade opportunities, the strawberry industry is in a positive position."
The varieties were developed through the grower-owned research and development corporation using grower levies and funds from the Australian Government, and co-funded and led by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Queensland.
According to the Horticulture Statistics Handbook, in 2020/21, 77,751 tonnes of strawberries were produced at a value of $417.2 million.
Eighty-eight per cent of this domestic production was supplied to the fresh market, 7pc (5417t) was processed predominately into preserves, and 5pc (3578 tonnes) was exported.
The majority of strawberries are grown in Queensland (42pc), followed by Victoria (36pc), Western Australia (11pc) and South Australia (7pc), with smaller volumes in Tasmania and New South Wales.
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