Scaling up using fruit and vegetable ‘seconds’
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery in St. David’s is a fifth-generation family farm, home to an organic vineyard, a winery, a restaurant, a cidery and retail store. Ravine’s goal was to relaunch their family’s 1904 canning label – Lowrey Bros. – with a new line of preserves that uses fruit and vegetable “seconds” as their main ingredient. A key challenge in agri-business is that of food waste, which occurs at the stages of producing, processing and retailing. Ravine saw food waste as an opportunity to capitalize on these seconds and wanted to develop innovative food products, using seconds, that are safe, sustainable, scalable, profitable, and delicious.
The team at the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre first carried out an in-depth study of regional produce and their seasonal availability, and market analysis determined flavour and product prospects for a variety of SKUs. Ravine then selected four products for optimization and scale-up. The final results of the project have allowed Ravine’s Lowrey Bros. brand to grow from selling products in their own store to selling them in third-party specialty retailers and are now expanding its market reach into the big box grocery stores.
Funding: Ontario Centres of Excellence Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) program and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) through its Engage grant program.
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