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Marketing snapshot - 2018/19

Publication date: 7 November 2019

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the mushroom marketing levy into a range of activities which drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from 2018/19.

Embedding key messages of taste, ease and health – and keeping mushrooms top of mind on the path to purchase – the 2018/19 marketing program included a full mix of activities. These ranged from TV and digital advertising, to high-impact in-store sampling, an ongoing social media campaign, an ambassador strategy and more.


Television played a key role in driving mass awareness of campaign communications and ensured key Australian Mushrooms messages were shared to a wide audience. The television campaign hit the air in an initial five-week burst from August to September 2018. From March to April 2019 a second burst was run across key metro and regional networks including Seven, Nine, Ten, WIN, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and Prime. The campaign took advantage of the strong opening programming schedule of 2019 which included programs such as My Kitchen Rules, Bachelor in Paradise, Dancing with The Stars (featuring Australian Mushrooms Ambassador Miguel Maestre) and Married At First Sight.

This was also bolstered by advertising during news and current affairs programs such as The Project, Nine News and A Current Affair. The aim of the television campaign was for 33 per cent of the target audience to see the ad at least two times. Across both metro and regional markets the campaign successfully reached or surpassed this goal. Sydney and Brisbane metro markets reached a total of 35 per cent of the target audience each, while 37 per cent were hit in regional southern New South Wales and 47 per cent in regional Tasmania. Australian Mushrooms appeared in eight out of the top 10 metro television programs during the campaign.

Radio and Spotify

From February to March 2019 Australian Mushrooms partnered with Nova and Australian Radio Network (ARN) to drive awareness and frequency of mushroom messaging on radio in key metro markets. Activities focused on peak commute timings, on stations such as KISS, Nova, 96 FM, and Cruise 132.3. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth hit campaign targets of reaching at least 29 per cent of the audience twice throughout the campaign, with Adelaide hitting a total of 37 per cent of the audience twice. Meanwhile, 351 bonus spots were secured across both ARN and Nova, equating to a total value of over $300,000 extra airtime.

Ad recall increased following the campaign, with key message take outs being ‘versatile, yummy, delicious, and easy.’ Some 14 per cent of surveyed listeners also said they had bought mushrooms as a result of hearing the Australian Mushrooms spot on radio recently.

Music streaming service Spotify was used to complement the radio schedule and to target a younger audience who have a strong affinity for food and cooking. During the campaign period, 114,623 people between the ages of 18 to 34 were reached and 148,061 opportunities for people to see the content were served, surpassing the campaign target of 140,000. The most popular playlists that Australian Mushrooms appeared within were Spotify's Chill (28.79 per cent), Workout (15.59 per cent), Party (11.47 per cent), and Travel (10.16 per cent) playlists.


Supporting television activity, Australian Mushrooms digital activity ran from mid-August to December 2018 and again from early March to June 2019 across catch-up TV and YouTube – utilising FlyBuys data to strategically target specific consumer segments. The strategy consisted of Australian Mushrooms' standard 15-second video ad on catch-up television, with a non-skippable ad format used across popular programming such as MasterChef, House Rules, Lego Masters and The Voice. On YouTube, six-second bumper ads featured three different creatives across the campaign period, including Mushroom Spaghetti, Pizza and Omelettes.

The Spaghetti creative drove the highest number of served impressions and had the highest completion rate at 86 per cent. However, Pizza and Omelette also had strong completion rates at 85.8 per cent and 83 per cent respectively. On YouTube mushrooms also saw an over-delivery of impressions by 206 per cent.

All platforms achieved above campaign benchmark results. Looking at the second lot of activity in 2019, in total there were 2,684,436 opportunities for people to see the content. All channels surpassed the aim of a 70 per cent ad completion rate and 70 per cent ad viewability, finishing with an overall viewability rate of 90 per cent and a total ad completion rate of 92 per cent.

Out of home

To extend reach and drive frequency of key messages, out-of-home advertising was placed on digital screens in major shopping centres, on billboards, on major roads and on street furniture from August to October in 2018 and again from March to May 2019. This reinforced the key messages in consumers’ minds, helped to drive action before entering a store and was a critical step on the path to purchase journey.

The aim of the campaign was to reach a total of 2.2 million people per campaign burst at least 11 times via street furniture, and 5.2 million people at least nine times via digital shopping centre screens. In total the street furniture reached over 2.3 million people, while the shopping centre digital screens reached over 5.9 million people during March to May 2019.

Social media

The Australian Mushrooms ‘always on’ approach to social media ensures that mushrooms are top of mind for consumer’s year-round. During 2018/19, the Facebook page ( continued to grow, delivering 5.6 million impressions between March and June 2019 alone, with 179,000 engagements (likes, comments, shares, link clicks and photo views) and an above average engagement rate of seven per cent. Top performing Facebook posts included a vegetarian mushroom, tomato and cashew salad recipe, and Miguel Mastre’s black skin roasted mushroom chicken recipe.

 The Australian Mushrooms Instagram page (@australianmushrooms) was used to inspire with delicious recipes and was supported with recipes created by Miguel and curated winter warming recipes coordinated through activity with influencer platform TRIBE. Between March and June 2019 alone, Instagram delivered a total of 1.8 million impressions, 187,000 engagements and achieved a strong engagement rate of 15 per cent. Top performing Instagram posts included a mushroom stuffed potato cake recipe, and Miguel’s sautéed mushrooms.

Public relations (PR)

With recipe inspiration acting as a primary means to attract consumers, Australian Mushroom recipes continued to gain coverage in mainstream media. To kick off the winter season, there was also outreach to Melbourne media and influencers to help drive awareness, education and inspiration through high reaching coverage. This involved the distribution of 15 hampers containing fresh mushrooms, sourdough, Miguel’s recipe cards and winter cooking tips and tricks for mushrooms.

This approach gained significant coverage including in Woman’s Day, a five page spread in Ruth Magazine and features by influencers The Nutrition Guy and nutritionist Steph Geddes.

Brand ambassador

Celebrity chef and television personality Miguel Maestre continued to share his love for mushrooms across traditional media and social channels in 2018/19. Miguel’s ‘one roll mushroom wonders’ recipe was featured within Woman’s Day, and Miguel was busy engaging with consumers at events across the country. At the Sydney Royal Easter Show and Melbourne’s Good Food and Wine show Miguel demonstrated how to make his delicious mushroom paella and used Facebook Live to engage with the wider community.

Earlier in the financial period, Miguel took part in a publishing house tour, visiting the offices of Pacific Magazines and Bauer Media to cook and showcase family-friendly mushroom recipes, and take part in interviews. From this there were more than a dozen high-profile media inclusions.

In-store sampling

Australian Mushrooms increased its in-store presence via two bursts of in-store sampling activity in 2018/19 – from the first week of November to early December 2018, and again from mid- February to mid-March 2019. Consumers had the chance to try mushroom dishes in Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. More than 550 sampling sessions took place and, on average, 80 samples and 70 recipe brochures were handed out per session.

Website and consumer e-newsletter

The consumer-facing Australian Mushrooms website ( has continued to grow with over 37,000 new users visiting the site between May and July 2019. The monthly mushroom e-newsletter that consumers can sign up to via the website has continued to drive traffic back to the site, reaching a growing database of over 35,000 subscribers, and browse time on the site is on the rise with users spending an average of five minutes on each recipe page. The most visited pages on the site include ‘Best Ever Mushroom Sauce,’ ‘Mushroom Parmigiana’ and ‘Steak with Mushroom Sauce.’


During 2018/19 the Australian Mushrooms brand continued having a presence at various events around Australia, serving mushrooms up to consumers from the eye-catching Australian Mushrooms caravan. Some of these events included:

  • The Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) in August 2018 – this is the largest annual event of its kind in Queensland. More than 400,000 people visited the show over 10 days, also making it the best-attended event per capita in Australia.
  • The Sydney Royal Easter Show in April 2019 – which drew more than 900,000 people over 12 days, a 14 per cent increase on the previous year.
  • The Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show in June 2019 – with more than 29,000 people attending.

At the events, the Australian Mushrooms caravan prepared and served three different recipes for the crowds: Chilli Mushroom Con Carne, Best Ever Mushroom Sauce and Thai Mushroom and Chicken Meatballs. Brochures with the three recipes were also handed out.

At the Ekka and Sydney Show, live demonstrations were conducted, with chefs preparing the dishes on display and explaining the steps. As a real highlight, Australian Mushrooms ambassador Miguel attended one day of the Sydney event and two days of the Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show, cooking his Paella-la-Maestre and serving it to the crowd. He also conducted a Q&A session at the Melbourne event.

In total, some 29,000 samples and 30,000 brochures were distributed at the Ekka; 36,200 samples and 29,250 brochures in Sydney; and 8850 samples and 12,750 brochures in Melbourne. The events were also an opportunity for people to sign-up for the website's e-newsletter database.


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