This Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2018, edition 1.
Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the apple and pear marketing activity into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption of the fruits, under the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund. Here’s a look at what’s been happening recently.
APPLE MARKETING ACTIVITY
New Aussie Apples Grower Portal
To enhance growers’ marketing capabilities, the new Aussie Apples Grower Portal was launched in February 2018 – giving access to industry marketing materials and information all in one place.
This initiative aligns with the Apple and Pear Strategic Investment Plan, by addressing the need to increase industry knowledge of marketing as a means of adding to product value.
Once registered, growers will be able to access logos, posters, other promotional material, the CSIRO Apple Health Report and more. The portal will evolve over time with content such as recipes for download, high-resolution product shots and consumer research.
Growers can register for use of the portal through the top right-hand button on the Aussie Apples website.
Hort Innovation invites growers to provide feedback on what would be useful to have access to on the site, so feel free to our apple and pear marketing manager with suggestions – find the details here.
‘Databar’ stickers in supermarkets
Coles and Woolworths, with support from Hort Innovation, have started rolling out ‘databar’ stickers on all apple and pear varieties being sold. This is beginning with new season Royal Galas. Examples of the databars are below:
The databar initiative aims to improve forecasting and waste management, directing sales back to the correct article at a retail level. The stickers also provide a level of traceability back to packhouses, addressing a key challenge around food safety and protection. They also ensure traceability in the face of any customer issues – providing an opportunity to go back to the packhouse and ensure the quality being supplied is maintained and improved.
Social media activity
The Aussie Apples Facebook page has gathered momentum with its strategy aimed at engaging consumers with fun and quirky apple content, using popular culture in posts and striking a chord with the Facebook community. During 2017, the Aussie Apples account delivered more than five million impressions (the number of times the content was seen), with more than two million engagements (people liking, sharing or commenting on content).
At the time of writing, recent posts had included a video and recipe post for tasty ‘apple slice snack sandwiches’, viewed close to 50,000 times and counting, and announcements for the start of Royal Gala season – seen more than 135,000 times and encouraging shoppers to purchase in-store – and Modi and Smitten varieties.
What’s coming up
The Hort Innovation apple marketing strategy is continuing to evolve in line with consumer preferences, with some new and exciting changes coming up.
One year into its three-year Get Your Crunch On campaign, the partnership with Netball Australia has wound to a close, with the decision made to focus on a range of targeted activities to support the sales of one of Australia’s most favourite fruits.
This year, and 2019, will see a continued focus on television and cinema advertising, plus new targeting via radio and music streaming service Spotify, to emphasise the ‘crunch’ sound of the campaign. The campaign will be further boosted online, including on YouTube and catch-up TV services, as well as on social media platforms to target a younger audience. This year will also see an enhanced focus on in-store activity, driving top of mind awareness of apples at the point of sale.
Over the past year, the Aussie Apples campaign has seen hundreds of apples handed out at netball games; television and cinema advertising; show promotions at events such as the Sydney Easter Show and the EKKA; and new creative including a website and branding. An Apple Health Report was also developed to underpin the promotion of the nutritional values of apples, along with a sports nutritional guide. On top of this, new pilot projects have also been launched with a focus on international marketing activities to help drive export market interest.
Watch this space for more to come.
PEAR MARKETING ACTIVITY
As well as the launch of ‘databar’ stickers in Coles and Woolworths (see more in the apple snapshot above), recent marketing initiatives for Australian pears have included…
To assist growers in moving extra pears due to a heavy crop in 2017, a series of in-store sampling events were held in Coles and Woolworths stores during November 2017 to January 2018. This proved to be a perfect time for in-store activity, as traditionally this time of the year sees lower consumption due to the new season stonefruit and berries coming onto the market.
The objective was to:
- Increase awareness
- Encourage trial of pears
- Communicate key selling messages, seasonality and usage scenarios
- Highlight where pears were located in the store
- Leave consumers with a positive brand experience.
There were 286 sessions held nationally, with more than 45,550 customer interactions taking place, and an increase in sales on average was seen across all stores – with Woolworths reporting a 24 per cent uplift in pear sales overall in stores sampled, with a 66 per cent increase in sales for prepacked 1kg Packham pears.
While keeping pears top of mind for shoppers, the in-store sampling also provided insights into consumers’ purchasing behaviours. These revealed…
- Price is not an obstacle to purchase for 85 per cent of shoppers
- Health is a purchase driver for approximately one in four shoppers
- 91 per cent of customers interacting with the sampling sessions were over 31 years of age
- Almost one in two customers said they dislike the quality of pears available in-store, revealing a major purchase barrier.
Social media activity
The Australian Pears Facebook page continues to attract and engage consumers, with a current strategy of utilising pop culture and fun, quirky content helping to increase engagements. This content strategy has seen Australian Pears engagement rates rise 6.8 per cent month-on-month, making the page even more popular. During 2017, the Australian Pears Facebook delivered more than four million impressions (the number of times content was seen), with more than 1.5 million engagements (people liking, sharing or commenting on content).
December 2017 saw engagement rates reach a massive 45.9 per cent with this post, which was well above the benchmark. This recipe video, created through the MyFoodBook partnership with Australian Pears, also did well with a strong engagement rate and an audience reach of 126,000.
Australian Pears has signed up again with MyFoodBook to build on the huge success of last years’ partnership. The MyFoodBook recipe and cookbook community website, www.myfoodbook.com.au, includes more than 200,000 subscribers, and promotes recipes to more than 2.8 million people each month.
Throughout January and February 2018, MyFoodBook has been busy with content creation, with an emphasis on content that educates consumers about how to choose and ripen pears. (Pear ripening issues were identified in a recent consumer survey, commissioned by Hort Innovation, where one in two consumers stated that they would purchase more pears if they knew how to judge how ripe they were.)
The recipes developed include snacks, substantial meals and sweet treats, with beautiful photography and how-to videos showcasing the versatility and quality of pears.
Pear export activity
Recently established under the marketing program is the Early and Broader Season Export Pilot Program. This pilot aims to drive international demand for Australian pears, to help meet the export targets as set out in the Apple and Pear Export Market Development Strategy 2017.
The initiative also aims to develop models of working which can be used as learnings for other growers wanting to export – including a methodology for working with in-country brand marketers, and identifying seasonal windows of opportunity.
The project currently focuses on the key export markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund