Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the chestnut marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption of chestnuts, under the Hort Innovation Chestnut Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from the 2020/21 marketing program.
The Chestnut marketing program was designed to generate awareness for Australian chestnuts via seasonal consumer and retailer communications and compelling content on social media. Core activities included social media, recipe development, events, e-newsletters and brochures.
Social media and recipie development
With chestnuts being nutrient rich, filling, and ideal for vegans and vegetarians, two targeted recipes were promoted through a social media influencer program; a burger and dumplings, both plant-based and made with chestnuts as the hero ingredient.
The influencer campaign involved sending chestnut recipes and preparation ideas to 20 social media influencers, with a combined audience reach of over 100,000 people. Content created by the influencers tapped into the appeal of plant-based or vegetarian recipes and generated strong levels of engagement, showcasing recipes such as chestnut burgers, stir fry’s and nourish bowls.
The Chestnuts Australia Instagram (@chestnutsaustralia) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/australianchestnuts) were used to promote the recipes. 35 Instagram posts were featured during the season from late January through to end of June. The most popular photo being an image and instructions of how to roast chestnuts in a pan over an open fire. Eight of the posts were video posts, with the most popular being a short educational demonstration of how to boil chestnuts, achieving 4,242 views. Another strong performing post was a chestnut roasting video which achieved 3,223 views indicating education content is important when it comes to chestnuts and how to use them.
High profile chefs Jason Roberts and Chef Luca Ciano, who have a combined audience of 90,000 social media followers, filmed a live Instagram video to promote the 2021 chestnut season to consumers and food service menu influencers.
A social media competition promoting the chance to win 1 of 10 specialist chestnut cutting knives was conducted to build engagement, which achieved over 200 entries via Facebook and Instagram.
Two promotional consumer events were held to increase awareness and consideration of chestnuts. These included the La Fiera Food & Wine Festival and an accredited Farmers Market in Myrtleford, both in May 2021. The festivals allowed Australian Chestnuts to educate consumers how to select, store and cook chestnuts, with content from the events leveraged across social media for increased consumer reach.
E-newsletters and brochures
An electronic newsletter was distributed to coincide with the season. Content was relevant to both consumers and retailers. The communication highlighted key educational messages such as practical storage tips and recipe inspiration demonstrating chestnuts versatility. In addition, 30,000 recipe and educational brochures were distributed to wholesalers, retailers and growers on request.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Chestnut Fund