Consumers encouraged to enjoy cool chestnuts
Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the chestnut 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.
The Australian Chestnuts marketing program was designed to generate awareness about chestnuts through using seasonal consumer and retailer communications and compelling content on social media.
The key messaging for the 2021/22 campaign was ‘keep ‘em in the fridge’, aimed to educate consumers and retailers about the importance of keeping chestnuts cool to maintain optimal freshness.
Social media and influencer campaign
This year, the target audience shifted from plant-based consumers and vegan influencers who were the key audience in previous years to home cooks and influential food bloggers.
The campaign included an influencer outreach pack with a ‘chestnut arancini’ recipe, fresh chestnuts, a chestnut knife, a branded wooden spoon and a magnet. Influencers were asked to showcase the nuts, spreading the message about keeping chestnuts refrigerated to optimise taste. A group of 20 influencers were utilised to showcase the campaign, with a combined following of 240k (240,000) followers.
The Chestnuts Australia Instagram has a following of 2000 chestnut lovers, an increase of 253 followers from last year. The Facebook page is small but growing steadily with 395 followers.
Two promotional consumer events were held to increase awareness and consideration of chestnuts. In May 2022, the La Fiera Food & Wine Festival in Myrtleford and accredited Meracato Farmers Market Myrtleford were held to connect with consumers. Some 950kg of chestnuts, cooked and fresh, were sold during the events.
Four new recipes were created, showcasing ways to use chestnuts in everyday meals on Hort Innovation’s website and social media channels. High-profile chef, Chef Luca Ciano, with an audience of 27,000 followers, produced a video showing scoring and cooking techniques. Additional video content was created by The Fruit Nerd, Create Cook Share and The Delightful Cook.
‘Keep ‘em in the fridge’ retailer packs were sent to 1050 retailers, both directly and through wholesalers. The packs included a shelf wobbler, magnets with the same message and a back-of-house poster educating retailers about correct chestnut storage.
Retailers were incentivised to display the wobblers with a competition, where they could ‘Win $1000’ for posting the season’s best image or video of the wobbler on display. Entry into the competition also required retailers to complete a survey about chestnut storage practices, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the current practices related to storage, display and their impact on shelf-life.
E-newsletter, website, and brochures
An electronic newsletter was distributed four times throughout the season to an audience of 269 subscribers. The content was relevant to both consumers and retailers, and messaging covered essential topics such as selecting, storing, preparing, cooking and freezing chestnuts.
The website was updated regularly during the season with refreshed messaging, events and recipes.
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.