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Getting more Aussies eating onions, more often

Publication date: 25 February 2022

There’s been a bit of an oversupply due to a lack of exports going out and COVID has got people watching their spending. Given that current market, I think marketing’s more important than ever and now’s definitely not the time to back off on that front.

Steven Rathjen, onion grower, South Australia

The opportunity

Market research identified young families with children under 17 as a market with growth opportunities for Australian onions.

The approach

Australian families were targeted via three strategic pillars:

  1. Remind: Reminders to keep Australian Onions top of mind by reaching the target audience frequently through social media, earned media and influencers.
  2. Inspire: Inspiring content which encourages families to use onions more frequently and in greater amounts.
  3. Educate: Ensure the target audience know the true benefits of Australian onions (including health benefits) and the best ways to prepare and store them at home.

Australian Onions collaborated with popular and relatable food influencers to increase media appeal and resonate with families. These influencers spread the Australian Onions messaging to their combined following of 500,000 people on their social media channels, along with their delicious onion-centric recipes.

To further amplify messaging, top-tier media and key food influencers were given Australian Onion hampers. These hampers aimed to surprise and delight media influencers and included premade Australian Onions relish, fresh bread, various ingredients specifically to pair with onions, and a media kit showcasing Australian Onions’ new recipes.

In addition, Australian Onions ran a full-page advertisement in the May edition of Coles Magazine. Both printed and online editions were a great way to reach consumers across Australia, being the #1 read magazine in Australia as of March 2020. The advertisement featured an onion breakfast recipe, communicating the versatility of onions across meal occasions and their many health benefits.

Australian Onions were also actively involved in The Good Mood Food – a Hort Innovation-cross-horticulture behaviour change campaign promoting the mood-boosting benefits of Aussie fruit, vegetables and nuts. Through this, onions were repositioned as a mood-booster, not just a health booster – a message which resonated with a country enduring a pandemic. The Good Mood Food campaign was supported nationally by a range of channels, including outdoor ads, print, radio, digital, social media, and TV.

Australian Onions are also featured in their own short, animated Good Mood Food videos, advertised through YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and catch-up TV channels.

The outcome

The onions marketing program achieved great reach through the various campaign activities:

  • Food influencers: By partnering with social media food influencers, the onion-centric recipes reached more than 1.6 million people.
  • Media outreach: Pitching Australian Onions messaging to top-tier media lead to total opportunities to see over 5 million.
  • Retail communications: The feature in Coles Magazine had the potential to reach 4.4 million people over the month of May 2021.
  • The Good Mood Food campaign participation: Overall, The Good Mood Food campaign reached 20.3 million Australians, drove more than 79,000 users to The Good Mood Food website, and left 2 out of 3 Aussie consumers more likely to make a purchase.