South African sultanas are being pitched as the perfect ingredient for new year diets and meat-free resolutions, as part of an SA sultanas marketing campaign to highlight the benefits of sultanas and the variety of applications it offers.
As Veganuary continues in full force, producers have highlighted the benefits of SA sultanas as consumers look to reduce their meat consumption and trial vegan diets.
Sultanas are currently widely used as an ingredient in a range of bakery products, snack bars and cereals, with a number of key benefits including a sweet taste profile, a caramelised, honeylike flavour and a soft texture that is less chewy and easy to eat.
Health experts recommend a mix of both fresh and dried fruit in healthy diets, as SA sultanas provide a natural and enjoyable addition to healthy eating. They contain fibre, iron, calcium and antioxidants, and due to most of the water being extracted, are packed with nutrients.
SA sultanas are naturally sundried grapes with low-to-no residues, making them a good origin of supply. It has a 12-month shelf-life and desirable colour and flavour profile.
“We know that consumers put a special emphasis on their diets in the new year, and that the popularity of meat-free trends like Veganuary means they are seeking out alternative ingredients that are both tasty and healthy,” explained Ferdie Botha, CEO of Raisins South Africa. “SA sultanas meet these needs and we will be keen to encourage consumers to discover these wonderful products and to see them as a long-term addition to their shopping baskets.”
Raisins South Africa currently represents around 1000 growers, with the majority located in the Northern Cape and as part of their campaign, are looking to promote sultanas’ health benefits and address misconceptions around raisins and dental health. It has said the initiative comes at a time of increasing raisin production, as the 2022 crop is estimated at 67,000 tonnes – up from 59,000.
“We hope to inspire UK consumers to see raisins as a delicious, healthy product that is easy to incorporate into their diets,” Ferdie added. “Over the years there has been a lot of misunderstanding around the raisins and their sugar content, but we want to reassure consumers of the wide-ranging and positive health benefits of eating these delicious products.”
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