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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2018, edition 1

Publication date: 29 March 2018

This Hort Innovation Cherry Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2018, edition 1.

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the cherry marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Cherry Fund. Below is a quick look at some of the most recent activity and, in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out the feature on marketing in the summer 2017/18 edition of the levy-funded Cherry magazine.


A highlight: Australian cherries launch into Vietnam

Australian cherries regained access to Vietnam in the latest season, and the first shipment arrived end of November 2017 for Vietnamese consumers to enjoy.

Vietnam’s Iron Chef Nguyen Manh Hung and Vietnam MasterChef’s Ngo Thanh Hoa helped launch Australian cherries into the market at events in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on December 12 and December 14 respectively. The events set out to raise awareness, generate excitement and engage key players in Vietnam, with more than 220 industry and media contacts attending, including importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, hoteliers and local media.

The popular chefs took to the stage to show the guests innovative dishes with Australian cherries and other ingredients. Meanwhile, Australian cherry growers were represented by Tom Eastlake, President of Cherry Growers Australia, and Paul Keenan, Managing Director of Keenan Produce Australia. Both provided participants with an overview of the Australian cherry industry, along with tips on storage, handling and merchandising. This information was designed to ensure that the quality of Australian cherries was maintained throughout the supply chain.

Promotional activities were also run across 90 retail stores in Vietnam, December 15, 2017 until January 21, 2018 under the new Taste Australia brand. Sampling in popular Vietnamese stores including AEON, Mega Mart and Klever Fruits was a key pillar of this activity to drive trial of Australian cherries during the launch season.

Australian cherries are now well positioned to continue to grow in this market, with Vietnam being one of the strongest export markets for growers and exporters in the 2017/18 season.

In other export markets…

Taste Australia marketing campaigns were also implemented across Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as in Hong Kong for the first time. Activities included in-store sampling and point-of-sale materials highlighting Australian cherries, along with public relations (PR) and media activity. Social media was a key focus in Hong Kong, including promotion via the Taste Australia – Hong Kong Facebook page.


  • Consumer research has been undertaken to test the positioning of Australian cherries, to feed into the development of the domestic market strategy and its messaging for the 2018/19 season.
  • A ‘cherry mentor’ program has been completed with Woolworths supermarkets. This involved using mentors in a selection of trial stores to work closely with produce staff – providing training on cherry handing, storage and maintaining displays, and instilling confidence around the quality of cherries. In-store sampling was also undertaken.

    Some quick results…
    • Participating stores saw stock loss fall by an average of 61 per cent compared with last season
    • Overall, sales improvement was 27 per cent higher than the control group stores
    • In regard to customer engagement, almost 3700 customers spoken to through in-store demonstrations, with 3400 samples handed out. More than 80 per cent of customers who samples the cherries went on to purchase.

  • During the season, representatives from all states continued to drive awareness and excitement for the cherry season locally, with a focus on in-store activity across independent retailers, events, and PR. Don’t forget to see this edition of Cherry magazine for more on this.

These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Cherry Fund