This Hort Innovation Cherry Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition 1.
The 2016/17 marketing season has again used the ‘Cherish the Moment’ logo and tagline, with the campaign positioning cherries as a fruit for the whole summer season – not just for Christmas Day – to drive extra purchase.
Evidence shows that sales of cherries are highest around Christmas and then drop off in the post-Christmas days. To encourage consumers to celebrate many occasions over the summer period with cherries, the campaign has proposed that all kinds of special moments should be cherished with cherries – barbecues with friends, lazy summer weekend breakfasts, picnics by the beach and more.
Execution of the message was delivered through point-of-sale kits developed for independent grocers. These kits included posters, bunting and branded cherry bags for shopping convenience. They were distributed around the country via state representatives, who have also been responsible for running events and media-specific activities in each state for the 2016/17 season, as below:
In Queensland, the campaign focused on incentivising customers to impulse purchase cherries while at their local fruit shop. There was in-store marketing and a competition, ‘A Taste of Summer’, which ran from November 21 to December 18.
During the competition period, customers who purchased Australian cherries were given a scratch card at the counter. They could win a prize instantly, or enter into a second chance draw by going online and entering. The prizes were summer-themed to tie in with the national cherry marketing messages around barbecues, summer and the like, and included a summer cruise for two, a Webber barbecue, a camping esky, Wahu beach packs, Nutribullet blenders and Your Local Fruit Shop store vouchers.
Retailers who took part were provided with a promotional kit a week in advance, including instructions for staff on how to set up the competition. The promotion was also supported through digital activities (including the Your Local Fruit Shop website and e-newsletters) and a social media campaign using Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
There were 245 online entries from 62 stores, with other customers contacting the cherry team directly to claim instant prizes.
To support domestic cherry sales across the farm gate, farmers’ markets and independent supermarket chains, Tasmania activity had a focus on the promotion of cherries through the annual Tasmanian Fruits Farm Gate Guide.
This guide highlights fruit growers across Tasmania who sell fresh fruit at their shed door and/or offer ‘pick your own’ experiences, as well as farmers’ markets and, increasingly, value adders. There were 30,000 copies distributed to the tourism sector and regional community bodies for this ninth edition.
The national point-of-sale kits were distributed to key farm-gate shops, producer stalls at farmers’ markets and independent supermarkets, on top of social media support.
Marketing activity in the state included strong engagement through local media, including weekly “what’s fresh in season” interviews on metro and regional radio.
Meanwhile, the cherry point-of-sale kits were distributed to independent retailers for self-collection via a display in the wholesale markets. Merchandisers then went to the stores who claimed the kits to set up a strong display to attract consumer attention and motivate purchase.
There was also sampling carried out in some stores to encourage purchase.
The 2016 Victorian cherry season was launched by directly engaging with ‘influencers’ (media and social media representatives) to build strong brand advocacy for both Australian and Victorian cherries, and to help broadcast key messages through the season.
On November 26, a successful media event was held, engaging 38 influencers across print, radio, and social media including food and health bloggers. There were also marketing managers from the main Melbourne retail markets in attendance.
The event involved a bus ride to the Yarra Valley for influencers to experience cherries first-hand with growers. They visited Steve Chapman’s Chappies U-Pick Cherries and Berries, where they taste-tested different varieties and got out in the orchard to pick their own cherries. This was followed by lunch at Wild Cattle Creek Estate, where a cherry-themed lunch was shared.
The influencers were given folders to read on the bus including a cherry media release, a fact sheet on cherry varieties, and information on the health and wellbeing benefits of sweet cherries. To continue the cherry experience following the event, they were also given a box of cherries, a colourful cherry apron and samples of new cherry drinks from CherryHill Orchards.
The event was valuable for providing a human face to the cherry industry, helping media and their audiences to establish an emotional connection to Australian and Victorian cherries into the future.
New South Wales
The season launch in New South Wales was held across two days on the weekend of October 21. A number of dignitaries, including representatives from local and state government, were in attendance along with growers, industry suppliers and more. The event drew media coverage, with activity details conveyed through the New South Wales Cherry Growers Association. In-store point-of-sale kits were also distributed.
Due to extreme weather conditions that destroyed much of the harvest in South Australia, no promotions were run this season. Those growers who did promote their ‘pick your own’ events on-farm report they had great success and sold out of all fruit well ahead of the end of their planned opening times.
Export market activity
The cherry industry is also involved in the Now In Season program, led by the Victorian Government. Now In Season is a multi-industry, multi-country campaign that promotes Australian produce to in priority international markets. Activity under the program includes sampling and point-of-sale materials to encourage trial and purchase of Australian produce, as well as media activity. Priority countries for cherry activity include Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and United Arab Emirates.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Cherry Fund