Skip to main content

Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2017, edition 4

Publication date: 8 December 2017

This Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition 4.

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the apple and pear marketing activity into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption of the fruits, under the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund. Here’s a look at what’s been happening since the last edition of Hortlink.


Netball Australia sponsorship and PR

The Aussie Apples public relations (PR) program – developed through the industry’s ongoing Netball Australia partnership – reinforces for consumers the benefits of eating wholesome foods such as apples, and building a positive relationship with food. Recent activity has included:

  • Galaxy research on consumer attitudes to diets, food guilt and being healthy
  • This video bringing together Australia’s leading netballers and other women sharing their stories about food
  • This healthy eating guide for teen girls who play netball, by Aussie Apples campaign champions Dr Joanna McMillan and Netball Australia dietitian Kerry Leech.

This material was launched with an exclusive story in the The Herald Sun in September, which appeared as a full-page spread in print and also online, with a link to the healthy eating guide. Combined, this activity reached a potential audience of 1.5 million readers.

Following this exclusive activity, Hort Innovation pitched the story to online magazines and radio. Dr Joanna McMillan has subsequently been featured talking about apples and the Netball Australia partnership…

Joanna has also shared the research findings via her own onlineFacebook and Twitter channels.

Through the above coverage, the Galaxy research and partnership news has been seen by more than 600,000 people.

​Netball Australia has featured the nutrition guide in its Netball Tribe e-newsletter, and shared the video on its Facebook page, which has 41,000 followers.

Aussie Apples has of course also supported the guide and video through the industry’s consumer-facing Facebook page, with more than 310,000 views of the video to date. Engagement with the campaign material has been higher than the industry’s regular ‘always on’ social content, with targeting to audiences including those interested in netball and sports (representing 75 per cent of those who engaged with the content).

Materials have also been shared with leading media dietitians with a very positive response including social media referrals.

Other netball activity

  • Netball Victoria. As the official fruit supplier to Netball Australia, Aussie Apples supplied apples to Netball Victoria clinic events in September – a great way to get the fruit into people’s hands, and with information posted to the Netball Victoria Facebook page reaching over 5000 people.
  • NetFest. More than 2500 people flocked to the Gold Coast in October for NetFest, Netball Australia’s largest mass-participation event. The event was held at two locations which catered to beach and traditional outdoor netball competitions, as well as the newest format of the game, Fast5 netball. 2017 saw a record number of participants, with 292 teams from across Australia and New Zealand, as well as 165 umpires signing up for the four-day event. Aussie Apples had great exposure with ‘Get Your Crunch On’ signage, and umpires supplied with apples through the event.
  • Fast5 World Series. Nearly 9000 people watched on as the six best netballing nations took to the court in the Fast5 Netball World Series at Hisense Arena in Melbourne on October 28 and 29. Aussie Apples branding was showcased on LED screens, a pull through graphic, and a spread in the official match program.

Netball Australia’s main season has now ended, with planning underway for the 2018 season. With Aussie Apples TV advertising and sponsorship at televised games this season (reported in earlier editions of Hortlink), the good news is that Channel Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone, has said: “Following on from last season’s amazing success, where the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final was broadcast on the main channel in prime time to a peak audience of just under 700,000, we will be giving netball an even bigger push in 2018.”

Look for details in future editions of Hortlink.

In October, a partnership between Woolworths and Netball Australia was announced, and work will be progressing on how to leverage off this, as well as how to continue to bring apples to life at the professional and grassroots levels of netball.

Aussie Apples at events

  • The Adelaide Royal Show. Aussie Apples supported this event, which was held in early September, with more than 443,000 people attending over 10 days. The Apple & Pear Growers Association of SA (APGASA) site included retail and promotion of fresh apples and pears, juices, apple and pear ‘slinkies’ and dried apple. Approximately 11,000 apples were sampled. The event also featured three 30-minute grower talks on the main stage.
  • The Perth Royal Show. Held in late September, this event featured a walk-through fresh food experience, with 15,000 Bravo apples sampled over the eight-day show. Some 3000 apple slinkies were also sold, and there were product presentations and cooking demonstrations across two main stages.

Social media activity – Facebook

The Aussie Apples Facebook page has continued to engage consumers with fun and quirky apple content – with the incorporation of popular culture into posts receiving very positive responses.

In September, the top-performing post was ‘The squad that crunches together stays together’, which made use of a widely circulated video of pop stars Beyonce and Nicki Minaj – altered to show them eating Aussie Apples. The content reached some 146,300 people, with close to 80,000 engaging with the piece.

Apple recipes and serving tips have also been performing well, including this ‘Apple Dippers’ post from September, which reached close to 132,000 people and showcased fun ways to serve apples at a party, and the top-performing post from October, which featured a recipe for serving apple ‘cookie snacks’.

Digital activity

Digital activity for Aussie Apples has involved 15-second and 30-second versions of the industry’s ‘Get Your Crunch On’ commercial shown ahead of video content in catch-up and connected TV services such as Plus7, 9Now and TENplay, as well as on premium publisher sites such as The Herald Sun, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

The best completion rates (where viewers have watched the ads through to the end) have been in catch-up and connected TV platforms, due to the presence of popular shows such as The Block, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and The Handmaid’s Tale. Demographic placements and food-related sites have also maintained a great completion rate during the campaign, even with the ads being skippable by audiences.

Award win!

In November, Aussie Apples marketing efforts were recognised by the annual Parents’ Voice awards – taking out two awards in the Parents’ Choice categories for marketing around food and physical activity. The awards recognised the positive influence and messaging behind both the Get Your Crunch On television campaign and the sponsorship with Netball Australia, and show just how much the activity is resonating with the families (parents voted Aussie Apples into the top spots).


New in-store sampling

Australian Pears in-store demonstrations kicked off in November, to help drive pear purchasing in the face of Australia’s pear glut. In-store stands with sampling began on November 23 in Coles stores nationally, with 133 of the supermarkets to have featured the demonstrations by December 8. At the time of writing, a similar number of Woolworths supermarkets in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were to host demonstrations from December 11.

These in-store activities have been designed to…

  • Increase awareness
  • Encourage trial of pears
  • Communicate key selling messages, seasonality and usage scenarios
  • Highlight where the products can be located in store
  • Leave consumers with a positive brand experience.

MyFoodBook partnership – 2017 wrap-up and new activity

From early in 2017 to October, there was an Australian Pears partnership with MyFoodBook ( – a recipe and cookbook community that includes more than 200,000 subscribers, and promotes recipes to more than 2.8 million people each month.

Throughout this time, pear recipes were hosted on the site (as well as being available at, with more than 270,000 consumer engagements with this content, and close to 2000 instances of pear recipes being converted to e-books by consumers. For Mother’s Day back in May 2017, a special-edition e-book was also released that showcased four Australian Pears recipes and ‘perfect pairings’ information, and was downloaded 23,500 times. MyFoodBook also featured pears in its ‘What’s in Season’ section, explaining how to cook with pears, pear varieties and how to choose the right pear.

There is a new partnership that began in November, which will be showcasing a range of new pear recipes and information educating consumers on pear ripening. Look for updates in future editions of Hortlink.

Event: the Adelaide Royal Show

This event was held in early September, with more than 443,000 people attending over 10 days. The Apple & Pear Growers Association of SA (APGASA) site included retail and promotion of fresh pears and apples, as well as juices and pear and apple ‘slinkies’ (the pear ones included Packham, Red Anjou, Corella, Beure Bosc and Josephine pears). More than 3000 pears were sampled over the event.

Facebook activity

The Australian Pears Facebook page is an ‘always on’ component of the industry’s marketing activity, that has traditionally been targeted to more discerning grocery buyers, with posts designed to remind consumers to cook with and snack on pears more often. The page has recently been running fun and quirky content that is proving very engaging, like this short video post that was the top-performing post of September, and this post featuring popular TV host James Corden dancing with a pear. Recipe posts, like pear sorbet, sandwiches, muffins, smoothies and salads, have also been featured.


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