Set in the Clare Valley in South Australia’s mid north, local family business, Pangkarra Foods, is thriving after developing a healthy range of natural pulse snacks through PIRSA’s Advanced Food Manufacturing grants program.
Pangkarra Foods received a $66,500 grant in Round One of the grants program to develop the tasty range of roasted and ready to serve chickpeas and faba beans.
The pulse grower used the grant to collaborate with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and commercialise the new snack food product line – a research partnership that is now delivering big rewards.
After 18 months from research and development to being shelf ready, the pulse range was launched at the beginning of 2016 and has already attracted a host of awards, including the 2016 Foodland SA New Product Award at the SA Food Awards. The retorted (cooked) chickpeas also received a gold medal at the 2016 Australian Food Awards.
Katherine Maitland, Manager of Pangkarra Foods, said they knew chickpeas, faba beans and pulses were the next step to grow their business outside of wheat – and this was where the concept came to look at how they could do a ready to eat snack food.
“The money was allocated for different stages of the grant, so not just manufacturing, not just research and development, but also for our unique packaging, which was great because it meant we could get our product from start to the finished range on the shelf.
“We used the funding to make a retorted chickpea which is a cooked chickpea, as well as roasted faba beans and chickpea snack products.
“Since the pulse range was launched, our overall sales have increased significantly. The products now represent 40% of our total sales and we’re now exporting to South East Asia and Hong Kong.
Co-Manager Jim Maitland said the grant offered Pangkarra the chance to support the expansion of a different range.
“The Advanced Food Manufacturing grant provided us with an opportunity to launch a new product that we otherwise wouldn’t have,” he said.
PIRSA’s Advanced Food Manufacturing grants program supports co-funded projects with industry and research or technical partners that aim to strengthen the food industry’s innovation capabilities and improve productivity, profitability and export competitiveness.
The program connects food manufacturers with expert technical, advisory and testing services for product analysis and development.
It also assists in the commercialisation of research, resulting in new or improved food products or manufacturing processes.
The company’s success was recently highlighted on ABC’s Landline program, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that have come from moving into high value adding within the pulse sector. Go to the ABC Landline story.
Go to the Advanced Food Manufacturing grants program page for more information.