Conduct Market Research on Existing Fresh Allium Products and Recommend Products to Facilitate the Growth of the Category for Coles Supermarkets

Location: Forth, Davenport, TAS (opportunity to complete internship remotely with some visits)

Duration: 6 months

Proposed start date: ASAP

Project Background

Premium Fresh Tasmania grows, packs and markets around 10,000 tonnes of alliums made up of brown and red onions, shallot and echalions. The company is a national strategic supply partners of Coles Supermarkets and supplies the Supermarkets with almost 3000 tonnes of browns onions, 650 tonnes of red onions and 120 tonnes of shallots per annum.

In recent years many staple fresh vegetables lines sold on the Australian domestic market have had flat sales levels or are in decline. There are a number of reasons for this general trend and each individual vegetable line may have unique causes, however the developing movement towards prepared foods for convenience is a common factor in most of the declining trends of fresh vegetable sales.

Premium Fresh has not been immune to this trend and over the last several years has experienced a significant reduction in sales volumes of brown onions. However, there has been some relief through increased sales of red onions during this period.

Coles Supermarkets are Premium Fresh Tasmania’s most important trade partner and the general decline in fresh vegetable sales is a dilemma for both parties.

The challenge with this project is reverse or at least slow the decline in Premium Fresh allium sales volume to Coles and as a consequence increase the value Premium Fresh in its trading relationship with Coles Supermarkets.
To achieve this, marketing expertise is needed to review existing current retail offerings, develop strategies and create opportunities, with specific focus on product development.

Premium Fresh is one of a few echalions growers in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest exporter in Australia of this product. While echalions are established in European markets they are yet to be successfully marketed in the major supermarkets in Australia. Coles are open to the development and introduction of this product and are aligned with the objectives of this project.

Research to be Conducted

  1. Research and confirm issues behind the decline in sales of some allium lines
  2. Develop growth strategy for Premium Fresh to create an increase in sales volumes for alliums within Coles supermarkets over the next 2 -3 years
  3. Develop and assist in launch of echalion product with Coles supermarkets in a way that produces a net benefit to the Allium category.

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following:


  • Understand the basic principles of marketing and have the capacity to apply them to a research and development project


  • Experience in agriculture, strong people skills and a team approach

Expected Outcomes

  • Create a report outlining strategy for growth in Allium category 2 to 3 years
  • Echalion product launched in Coles supermarkets
  • Increased commitment in Premium Fresh Allium ongoing sales in Coles supermarkets
  • Provide real evidence of reduction in the decline of the overall allium sales in Coles Supermarkets

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

19 June 2019


APR – 0968