Indulge in a summer fling with Australian cherries
Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the cherry marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consideration. Here’s a quick look at some of the activities and achievements in 2021/22.
To position cherries as an ‘all-summer-long’ luxury fruit snack and not just something to be enjoyed at Christmas, the 2021/22 marketing campaign saw the ‘Indulge in a Summer Fling’ creative continue. The campaign targeted Australians aged 25-to-64 and drove awareness of cherries as an ‘everyday’ summer treat.
The campaign involved a number of media channels including retailer out-of-home advertising, radio, online retail media, social media and public relations.
Some highlights included:
- 2065 out-of-home advertising panels were placed around major retail centres to reach shoppers as they entered grocery stores. The activity reached 83 per cent of shoppers.
- Radio advertising reached 64 per cent of the stations’ audiences in metro markets.
- A partnership with media outlet Cartology delivered some 794,000 opportunities to see the cherry-inspired content and reached 123,000 unique customers.
The export marketing program focused on driving awareness and consideration for Australian cherries in Vietnam and Malaysia. The activities in Vietnam were funded through the cherry marketing levy and an Austrade grant was used to reach Malaysia.
Some highlights included:
- Retail support program: In Vietnam, there were in-store displays and promotions that used branded boxes across 69 key retailers. In Malaysia, there were in-store displays and point-of-sale materials across 112 outlets, as well as a voucher promotion with 192 redemptions.
- E-commerce activities: One month of advertising was secured on one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in Vietnam.
- B2B support and media launch: In Vietnam, 1,800 branded boxes were given to five key importers. In Malaysia, two media events were held, one with the High Commissioner and one targeting consumer media.
- Influencer engagement and social media support: Engaged with key influencers to raise brand awareness as well as support retail promotion. In Malaysia, influencer activity reached over 13 million and in Vietnam, influencer content received over 21,000 engagements. Social media delivered over 116,500 in reach in Vietnam and over 434,555 in reach in Malaysia.
Delivered as part of the cherry marketing plan but funded through the cherry R&D levy, a quality monitoring program was conducted from December 2021 to February 2022.
By observing and collecting data about how cherries are presented in retail, the project team could advise participating retailers on their results and provide recommendations on how they can increase the attractiveness and quality perception in-store to help increase sales of cherries over the cherry season.
Audit personnel visited 720 Woolworths and 600 Coles stores weekly to assess and audit the cherry displays. This assessment included looking at availability, display location, display tidiness, brands of cherries, packaging type, pricing, ticketing, product quality, defects and stock rotation information.
Where possible, the retail staff were educated regarding cherry handling and best practices (if available) on the appropriate display requirements, with any store-specific issues and a specific review of quality measures discussed with them. The intention was to embed a “quality first” mindset within the retail environment.
Across the span of pre-Christmas trading through until mid-February, the quality, displays, availability and pricing were tracked through weekly store audits. Scores across most attributes increased week on week, but the later season results were much lower than previous weeks, reflective of the quality of cherries in the later part of the season. Availability of cherries was down, and product quality was a concern from mid-February.
The merchandising program reflected the highly seasonal nature of cherries, with solid results achieved for availability, quality of presentation and relative lack of defective products in the key selling period of late December to January. In later parts of the season, availability was severely impacted, and quality of presentation and product quality issues were high.
In 2021/22 the Hort Innovation Marketing function underwent a significant shift in their approach to investing marketing levies. You can read more about this in the 2021/22 Hort Innovation Company Annual Report at www.horticulture.com.au/annual-report-portal.