Thursday, 12 July 2012

Independence Ginger Tea, Celebrity Chefs & Welcome Price Rise

The Retail Gazette carried an interesting article on how UK supermarkets are boosting their sales and profits by working in partnership with a celebrity chef or two. In particular, the article mentioned the success at Waitrose following the launch of Delia Smith's recipe for Rhubarb & Ginger Brûlée. Within the first seven days of the launch 14 weeks' worth of rhubarb was sold and the sales of ginger jumped by more than 3000%. Must make a note of that; when I open my shop, find a famous chef.

Good news for ginger lovers in Germany. LWC Michelsen has brought out 18 new jams of which two are ginger & pineapple, and ginger extra. Apparently, Germans prefer jam rather than marmalade at breakfast so these are ideal if you need a bit of a kick first thing in the morning.

Following the recent launch of Adnams Ginger Beer (see post), the brewery has swiftly followed it with another new beer called Flame Runner. This limited edition 3.9% abv pale ale, launched to commemorate the London Olympics, has been brewed with malted barley from Europe, hops from Australasia, and spices from Africa, Asia and America. The brewery describes the beer as having a 'subtle ginger aroma' which I take to mean that it does actually contain ginger.

The Business Standard provided welcome news for Indian ginger farmers when it reported that the price of both bleached and unbleached ginger had risen by about 10% at the spices markets. The rise was attributed to renewed domestic interest and increased export demand coupled with restricted levels of imports. Presumably prices will fall again when imports increase.

The Daily Star yesterday reported that the Bangladesh Tariff Commission Chairman has criticised the business community for raising the prices of essential commodities just before the start of Ramadan next week. He said that ginger is being bought wholesale for Tk37 but sold retail for Tk75. Two weeks ago, Commerce Ministry officials, businessmen and traders agreed to limit profits to no more than ten percent during the month of fasting.

The Fiji Times, like many other news organisations, likes to print extracts from its archives. Recently it reprinted news from July 8th, 1966, which contained a reference to 457 cases of ginger being shipped to New Zealand on the Union Steam Ship company's MV Tofua. I don't know how much ginger this is by weight as the term 'case' does not have a definitive meaning in this context. The same vessel also carried 2912 cases of bananas.

The Jamaica Observer carried a business article about Jamaican Teas Ltd, a company which has a 50 percent share of the local market. Apparently, the company has a plan to produce a 100 percent Jamaican ginger tea to commemorate Jamaica's 50 years of independence. The only possible problem could be the difficulty in acquiring enough local ginger in time for Independence Day on the 6th August.