TASTE OF AUSTRALIA

Health and Fitness in Australia and China

In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable, healthcare and fitness is now at the forefront of most consumers’ minds causing a global change.

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Florina Female Jogger by Mike Baird: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/482031103

The health, fitness and wellness industry is growing in Australia, with more choices than ever available. According to the Australian Fitness Academy, wearable technology such as fitness trackers and smart watches are the top trend of 2019, followed by group training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Australian celebrities are joining the digital fitness trend with Hollywood A-lister Chris Hemsworth launching his new health and fitness app Centr, aimed at personalising workout videos, meal plans and mindful exercises to each client.

Chris Hemsworth Promotional Pictures for App
Image Source: Centr www.centr.com

Online fitness platforms are the main source of supporting the new surge in active and healthy lifestyles in China. As the health and fitness scene spread throughout the world, Asia always lagged behind, and the trend never really caught on. However, there is a new driving force from health-conscious consumers who are demanding more gyms and fitness centres, sports clothing and online platforms. China is now in a five-year government fitness plan which is hoping to see $225 billion spent on sports and fitness by 2020.  

Australian fitness brands are soaring in China, from activewear brand Lorna Jane to the global fitness studio F45. Brands have taken advantage of the growing health and fitness market in China and it is paying off. The fitness industry is still seen as a luxury to the Chinese market and therefore are willing to pay a higher price for gym clothes, equipment and accessories but also for gym memberships and fitness classes.

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-NC) flickr photo Fitness by Frédéric Lakermance: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rollkidd/40303020253

Health foods have been trending for a number of years now. Everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle including eating foods that contribute to this. These health food trends have only just made their way into the China market however, now they are, they are making a big impact on people’s lifestyle choices. In China, gut-healthy foods, meat-free snacks and milks are all new health food trends. China’s middle class has seen a rise in vegetarianism and organic foods with a greater willingness to pay more for high quality, healthy foods.

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Concept Diet by Marco Verch: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/45998950225

Cruelty free eating is huge in Australia; more plant-based goods and a vegan diet are fast growing trends. Superfoods such as nuts and berries have been known to do wonders by adding to your daily diet and now a new superfood, the Peruvian Cape gooseberry rich in vitamin A and C, has been added to the list. One of the biggest health food trends sweeping Australia is cauliflower. The vegetable can substitute almost anything: rice, potatoes, hummus and… pizza?

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Image source: Food Network http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/cauliflower-crust-pizza.html#slide-1

As both markets continue to grow, there is opportunity to succeed in the Australian and Chinese health and fitness industry. With increasing advances in technology and online platforms, these are becoming important fitness trends for both countries and open up opportunities for brands to explore these areas.

 

Celebrating Australia

Australia has a lot to celebrate, perfect weather, great food, the dream lifestyle. Whether its national pride on Australia Day or bringing in the New Year. Australians don’t just celebrate their own traditions but also, international ones such as Chinese New Year.

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo Rottnest Beach Australia by Pedro Szekely: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosz/33990262261

Sun, beers and barbecues. Sounds like an average day in Australia? Though, this is usually how Australians celebrate Australia Day, the official national day of the country. The occasion is often marked with community and family events, as well as, awards and ceremonies. The record number of people pledging to become Australian citizens also happened this year, on Australia Day.

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Chinese New Year Parade at Sovereign Hill Outdoor Museum, Victoria by Chris Fithall: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisfithall/32105111437
Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Chinese New Year Dragon Parade at Sovereign Hill Outdoor Museum, Victoria by Chris Fithall: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisfithall/46322841574

Now, Australia Day isn’t the only extravagant celebration in Australia, New Year’s Eve is huge. This year, it was estimated that 85,000 people watched the celebrations over the Brisbane River and in Melbourne, 14 tons of fireworks were used for their display. In Sydney, an estimated 1 million people watched the elaborate firework display, however, one of the projections over Sydney Harbour Bridge read ‘Happy New Year 2018’ leaving everyone confused as to whether they’d travelled back in time!

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo Sydney Harbour New Years Eve Celebrations by Richard Rydge: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rikpiks/11721377436

Australia doesn’t just celebrate one new year; not forgetting Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, one of several Lunar New Years in Asia celebrated on 5th February this year. Much like Christmas Day, Chinese New Year is a time for family. However, it is said more people in China travelled this year than ever before. As the festival lasts 7 days, it is a good chance for family and friends to get away, with most popular destinations being from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Japan.

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Thailand Long-Tail Boats by Transformer18: https://www.flickr.com/photos/71267357@N06/24605696102
Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo Himeji Castle Hanami, Japan by Trevor Dobson: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevor_dobson_inefekt69/43191391100

Celebrations for the Chinese New Year in Australia were enjoyed by 4 million people with street festivals, markets, dancing and displays. Attracting huge amounts of people every year provides sponsor brands great exposure. At the Sydney Darling Harbour, the Dragon Boat racing is one of the biggest events of the festival and the concept Lunar Eats celebrates Sydney’s Asian cuisine.

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Darling Harbour Dragon Boat Race by Newtown Grafitti: https://www.flickr.com/photos/newtown_grafitti/

Whether you’re looking for entertainment, adventure, or a place to relax, there is always an event to cater to your needs in Australia.

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year amidst the landscape of Sydney’s city skyline, and experience Sydney’s world-renowned firework display cascade down the Harbour Bridge. Visitors may also choose to head to the water on Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Cruise, which hosts dinner and entertainment for the ultimate party experience.

Key dates: 31st December, 2018

Australia Day

This epic day celebrates everything great about being Australian, and is enjoyed outdoors, in parks or at the beach. Sydney’s Harbour bridge sets the stage for an unforgettable schedule of live entertainment throughout the day, followed by fireworks from 9pm.

Key dates: 26th January, 2019

Sydney Chinese New Year

Discover Sydney as the city transforms into a foreshore of life, filled with lanterns, dragon boat races, on the landscape of Darling Harbour. The city holds this spectacular event to celebrate the onset of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Key dates: Tuesday, 5th February

Melbourne Chinese New Year

Attracting crowds of up to 80,000 each year, the Victoria Street Lunar New Year celebrations holds a spectacular month-long variety of food stalls, wine offerings and live performances each night. People from all backgrounds are brought together to celebrate diversity and community.

Key dates: Tuesday, 5th February

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Comedians from all backgrounds are invited to take center stage at theatres, pub and clubs during this festival. The festival gives spotlight to Australian and International talent, and offers hundreds of shows, with baseline tickets averaging at $30 per head.

Key dates: 27th March – 21st April, 2019

Vivid Sydney

The multi-award-winning festival of light, music and ideas displayed across Sydney. A free public exhibition for all the family and enjoyed by over 2 million people each year, Vivid Sydney has something spectacular for everyone.

Key dates: 24th May – 15th June 2019 @ Sydney

Splendour in the Grass

Experience everything from indie pop to alternative rock as local and internationally-renowned talents take the stage at one of Australia’s most popular music events every year.

Key dates: 19-21st July 2019 (TBC) @ Byron Bay, New South Wales

Melbourne International Film Festival

Australia’s largest film festival runs from 17 days and has attracted crowds of over 200,000 people per year. The festival includes a 4-day conference, called South Market, where filmmakers, directors, distributors, producers, and other industry experts are encouraged to convene, network, attend workshops and lectures. The festival showcases both local and international talent and offers various prizes for best films of the year.

Key dates: 1-18th August, 2019

Melbourne White Night Festival

This signature Winter event runs into the night from 7pm to 7am, and showcases free and ticketed light display, street performance, adventure-themed and fashion experiences. The event offers a spectacle of the city’s unmatched music and cultural offerings, shining a light on the brimming talent of the Victorian capital. 

Key dates: TBC, Late August, 2019

Sydney Christmas Festival

Christmas means spending time with loved ones. On this magical day, Sydney exhibits their best Christmas decorations, lighting up the city and surrounding suburbs. Holiday-goers can also enjoy Christmas food and drink market, local pop-up designer markets, and carols in Sydney’s renowned Town Hall.

Key dates: 24th November – 26th December 2019 (TBC) @ Town Hall

Melbourne Christmas Festival

The magic of Christmas is celebrated with festive dining and drinks, indulgent seasonal treats, and entertainment throughout the day. Free festive and Christmas-curated events are also on offer to the public throughout the Christmas period.

Key dates: 30th November – 25th December 2019 (TBC) @ Federation Square

Wine and Dine in Australia

Australia is renowned for being a world power in culinary experiences. From charming countryside’s to white sand beaches, Australia has scenic surroundings all over the country to accompany good food and wine. As one of the largest wine exporters in the world, Australia exports approximately 60 percent of its total production making it a reputable product of the country. Australia’s number one wine destination by value is Mainland China who are rapidly becoming the biggest drinkers of red wine in the world. There has been strong growth from China year on year, now holding over $1 billion of the market from Australia’s top wine producers.

 

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo Wine Glasses by slack12

Throughout Australia, there are more than 100 grape varieties with Shiraz and Chardonnay grown in every wine region. Shiraz (also known as Syrah) is Australia’s most successful variety of grape and wine, full-bodied with a fruity flavour.

 

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Two Bunches of Grapes Close-up by WineCountry Media: https://www.flickr.com/photos/winecountrymedia/22785344833 and www.winecountry.com

Surprisingly, Australia is not only known for its thick spread Vegemite, they produce a wide variety of crops such as fruits, nuts and vegetables. Boasting tropical climates in the North and rainier seasons in the South, a perfect combination for crops to grow throughout the country. All six states surround the freshest oceans so Australia can take full advantage of high-quality seafood, enjoyed within Australia and exported to the best restaurants in the world.

 

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo Seafood Platter by Vanessa Pike-Russell: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lilcrabbygal/2342858546

With almost 30 percent of Australia’s current population born overseas, the country is proudly built upon different settlers from Brits to Chinese to Italians, all giving a unique flavouring to Australian cuisine. Including the famous chicken parmigiana, considered a staple of pub grub, it was brought over by Italian-Americans and is now, an Aussie classic.

 

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo Chicken Parmigiana by stu_spivack: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/6848854927

Now, you may have heard the age-old arguments about which country invented which dish for example, is hummus from Israel or Lebanon? Was the pisco sour invented in Peru or Chile? However, there is an even more intense debate between Australia or New Zealand. Who invented the pavlova? The pavlova’s simple recipe decorated with cream and fresh fruit is a perfect summer dessert, but who created the popular dish?

 

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo Australia Day Pav by Katie Wardrobe: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41517846@N08/4318545822

The origins come from Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s on her world tour and both countries say they created the dessert for her arrival. The topic has been such a long-standing battle that numerous books have been written about it.

 

Image Source: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo Anna Pavlova by plaisanter: https://www.flickr.com/photos/plaisanter/6275500670

Discover Australia’s world of wine and gastronomy through our vast offering of food festivals, wine tasting events, and vineyard visits across the year

Taste of Tasmania

Taste the flavours of regional Tasmania during this end of year food festival. Held in the city of Hobart, this carnival-style festival runs for 7 days, and celebrates the seasonal flavours and ingredients native to the region. Key dates: Friday 28th December 2018 to Thursday 3rd January 2019.

Taste of Sydney

Head to Sydney’s Centennial Park in March for food and wine classes, demonstrations and workshops. Discover all things epicurean with Sydney’s best culinary and wine delights at pop-up restaurants and winery stalls. Key dates: 9-10 March, 2019

Cellar Door Wine Festival, Adelaide

Fill up with food and wine at Adelaide’s Cellar Door Wine Festival, featuring wine tastings from over 150 wineries. Hone your wine tasting skills at a Masterclass, or explore the seasonal and local flavours of Adelaide’s best produce at the Farmer’s Market Key dates: 15-17th March 2019, Adelaide Convention Centre on North Terrace

Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival – Hunter Valley, New South Wales

From May to June, the Hunter showcases its best local culinary and wine talent of the region. Award winning wineries and restaurants come together, offering guests culinary classes, winery tours, wine tastings and winemaking classes. Guests also have the opportunity to meet and greet with renowned winemakers, sommeliers and culinary specialists. Key dates: 1 May – 30th June, 2019

Noosa Food & Wine Festival – Noosa, Queensland

Superb food and wine ensue from the convergence of Queensland’s culinary and wine masters. Enjoy a course of brunch, dinner and cocktails parties in this seaside town during Noosa’s balmy Autumn season. Key dates: 16 – 20th May, 2019 Venues: Hastings Street, Noosa Main Beach, Lions Park

Good Food Month, Australia

Experience the best of Australian gastronomy during the World’s biggest food festival. With over 1000 events, guests can experience the best food from innovative chefs and local producers. Discover Australia’s best fine dining experiences at affordable prices. Key dates: Canberra – March, Perth – April, Melbourne – June 2019 , Brisbane – July, Sydney – October 2019

Barossa Gourmet Festival – Barossa Valley, South Australia

Savour the flavours and dishes from South Australia’s renowned wine and gastronomy region, while taking part in 30 events over the festival’s 3-day period. Guests are offered the chance to take part in a plethora of cooking classes and wine tastings, making it one of Australia’s most popular foodie events of the year. Key dates: 6-8th September, 2019

Tweed Fusion Festival, New South Wales

Come to know NSW Tweed Valley in October for a culinary adventure, alongside a beach setting, with local art and music. This festival is bound to please everyone, with Tweed Valley’s superb food and wine, and terrific line-up of culinary talent. This festival is complemented by the Valley’s stunning landscape, stylish pop-up galleries, cafes, local art and music. Key dates: October, 2019 (TBC)

Margaret River Gourmet Escape

The Margaret River Gourmet Escape involves a 4-day getaway in sun-drenched Western Australia. The festival includes a full itinerary of masterclasses, cooking demos, food tastings, pop-up restaurants, and live entertainment.  The event boasts a guest list of international and local celebrity chefs, who contribute to local menus by adding unique twists to tried and tested dishes. Guests can also enjoy a few more days outside of the event exploring the region of Margaret River. Globally renowned for its beaches and foodie culture, Margaret River is also home to attractions such as the Lake and Mammoth Caves, as well as National and State forest trails. Key dates: 8-17th November, 2019 @ Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River, Australia.

Taste of Melbourne

Join hundreds of Australians for Melbourne’s most popular food and wine festival during November. Taking place in the heart of Melbourne, Albert Park, pop-up restaurants are packed with special menus exhibiting Melbourne’s most lavish and locally procured dishes. Feast your way through curated dishes, sharpen your wine-tasting acumen, and hone your cocktail mixing skills during this weekend-long fete. Key dates: TBC