Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the dried grape marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Dried Grape Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from 2018/19.
Social media and public relations (PR) were used to drive awareness and strength of the Australian dried grape story, with a targeted program that reached the right people with the right messages in the channels that they use the most. The key focus was overcoming barriers to purchase and, to achieve this, content was focused on showcasing dried grapes as a relevant snack or ingredient, and promoting provenance to make consumers feel good about buying local.
The campaign achieved 63 pieces of coverage across traditional and social media, resulting in 3.7 million opportunities for people to see the content across a variety of channels.
This activity included Instagram and blog posts by influencers and Australian dried grape ambassadors such as Rachel Scoular, a qualified dietitian and nutritionist, and ‘Live Love Nourish’, an online health and wellness brand. They produced authentic and engaging content where Australian dried grapes were featured as the ‘hero’ ingredient in various recipes for consumers to try at home. There was also media outreach on recipes, grower interviews and Australian dried grape facts.
This activity was supported by the creation of a library of Australian dried grape imagery for use by the campaign both domestically and in export markets.
Trade promotion events
The dried grape marketing program delivered a number of initiatives in export markets for the industry, with goals including:
- Driving consumer preference for a wider range of Australian dried grapes with the aim of altering purchasing patterns
- Driving loyalty with key European and Asian buyers to lead to improved profitability through increased sales
- Establishing a premium position for Australian dried grapes in key priority markets
- Gathering global marketing learnings to inform the export campaign.
Across all this, a priority for the dried grape industry in 2018/19 was to encourage and promote export development and overall sales growth, in order to improve the longer-term viability and sustainability of the sector.
On behalf of Hort Innovation, Dried Fruits Australia worked collaboratively with processors and exporters Sunbeam Food and Australian Premium Dried Fruits to attend SIAL Paris in 2018. This major trade fair, held in October, is one of the largest trade fairs held bi-annually in Europe, with over 7000 exhibitors from across the world. Attendees included two representatives from Dried Fruits Australia, one representative from Sunbeam Foods and two representatives from Australian Premium Dried Fruits.
Meetings were also held with Bosch Boden Spies, the marketer for Australian dried grapes in Europe, to discuss marketing opportunities and new concepts for the marketing of Sunmuscats as a snack product going into 2019. Continued support for the Australian dried grape advertisement in the Baeko Calendar was viewed as a priority for the coming year.
Along with the development of new imagery described earlier, the marketing program also developed a new brand for Australian Sultanas and Australian Sunmuscats, including a variety of logo and tagline options designed to appeal to international audiences, particularly in Asia. From these new designs, marketing collateral was developed to use at key events, such as brochures with information on Australia’s dried grape varieties.
At Hotel Food Vietnam in April 2019, Dried Fruits Australia launched the new campaign branding on behalf of the program, and distributed the brochure showcasing the Australian industry to representatives involved with the Vietnamese market. This translated brochure was popular with buyers, helping them understand what varieties are appropriate for either the bakery or snack market.
In May 2019, representatives from the Australian dried grape industry also attended SIAL in Shanghai where they promoted Australian Sultanas, and the new campaign branding, to Chinese importers and consumers.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Dried Grape Fund