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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2016, spring

Publication date: 30 November 2016

This Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2016, spring edition.

Aussie Apples ‘Lunchbox Heroes’ tastings

During the latest school holidays, Aussie Apples was out sampling Pink Lady and Sundowner varieties in seven of the busiest shopping centres in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. The objectives of the campaign were to:

  • Remind consumers that apples are the perfect, healthy, on-the-go snack
  • Target families with kids during the busy school holiday period
  • Provide apple information via trained promotional staff, to educate consumers about the different apple varieties and flavours.

To drive sales volume, a gift-with-purchase promotion was also run. Consumers were able to bring receipts for their apple purchase in the centres (from Coles, Woolworths, Aldi or fruit markets) and receive a free Aussie Apples-branded lunch bag. These were a huge hit and perfect for kids heading back to school.

The campaign results were outstanding with over 57,200 samples of apples handed out and 3000 lunch-bags redeemed.

The EKKA, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth Royal Shows

With over 450,000 visitors over 10 days, the Brisbane Royal Show (the EKKA) is the largest annual event of its kind in Queensland. This year, the apple and pear industry teamed up with the avocado industry for a stand in the Woolworths Pavilion, arguably the busiest pavilion at the show.

The objectives at this event were sampling and branding. Apple sampling involved slices of Jazz and Pink Lady apples, while Packham pears were made into smoothies. There were around 20,000 samples of each handed out by staff wearing branded uniforms.

There were also posters with various apple varieties on display, and pear ripening bags were handed out, which included seasonality and recipes.

The stand was located close to the entry of the pavilion, an area with a lot of foot traffic.

The bright, fresh images on the stand resonated with show-goers, with many commenting that they were drawn to the stand and attracted to the fresh food – a healthy alternative to the food normally on offer at the Ekka.

Feedback was overwhelming positive, with crowds of people around the exhibit and queues formed when samples were handed out.

At The Royal Melbourne Show, Aussie Apples partnered with Woolworths for two days of Pink Lady and Sundowner apple sampling in the Woolworths Kitchen. Over 12,000 samples were given out as the promotional staff reached 83 per cent of consumers that passed through the Woolworths Kitchen Stand.

At The Royal Adelaide Show, the Apple & Pear Growers Association of South Australia managed the stand, along with an army of industry volunteers. This added to the consumer experience, with show attendees able to talk to growers directly and learn first-hand about the apples and pears they were enjoying. There was a great display of a range of apple and pear varieties, juice and dried apple snacks for purchase.

The Royal Perth Show stand was managed by Pome West and located in the ‘IGA Fresh from WA’ pavilion. Pink Lady and Granny Smith varieties were showcased and the stand also sold locally sourced apple juice and the ever-popular apple slinky machines.

Facebook pages: Aussie Apples and Australian Pears

The Aussie Apples and Australian Pears Facebook pages have continued with their ‘always on’ approach to ensure strong communication with their target audiences, and to remind them to purchase apples and pears more often.

The target consumer for the apples page ( is the main grocery buyer, being families with children at home. Some recent examples of successful posts include an apple fritters post that reached 113,900 consumers and had a strong engagement rate of eight per cent, and an apple salad post that reached 117,200 consumers.

The Facebook campaign for pears ( targets a more discerning grocery buyer. Its objective is to reminding consumers to cook with and snack on pears more often. It also reinforces the health benefits of pears.

Recent successful posts include a beautiful image post carrying a message about the natural health benefits of pears, which reached over 70,000 consumers, and a snacking-suggestion post featuring pear, cheese and crackers perfect for spring picnics, that reached nearly 57,000 consumers.

Coming up: apple marketing campaign for 2017

Following ongoing consultation with industry, the development of the apple marketing campaign for 2017 is well underway.

Hort Innovation is working with representatives from the apple industry to deliver a sporting sponsorship agreement that will raise the profile and increase the relevance of apples, making them top of mind when consumers are looking for a healthy snack. The creative and PR campaign is being developed in conjunction with the sport sponsorship, and the agency pitches were to be presented to the industry’s SIAP in early November.

The consumer launch of the campaign will be in time for the launch of the apple season in 2017.

Coming up: a new Apple Health Report

An updated Apple Health Report is to be produced to identify the key health benefits of apples, as well as the claims that can be made according to Food Standards Australia. This information is a critical component to ensuring the correct health messaging is included in upcoming marketing activity for the industry.

Now In Season activity

The apple and pear industry is an integral collaborator within Hort Innovation’s co-funded Now In Season program. This multi-industry, multi-country initiative promotes premium quality Australian produce via in-store retail activities in key export markets, which for apples and pears include Thailand, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates.


These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund