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Marketing spotlight 2021/22

Publication date: 4 November 2022

Getting more Aussies eating more onions, more often

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the onion 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.

In 2021/22, the Australian Onions marketing program was aimed at improving consumer knowledge, attitudes and purchase intent towards onions. The campaign activities were geared towards driving category volume growth for onions by shifting consumer perception of onions from being a base ingredient to a central part of dishes.

The campaign targeted ‘main grocery buyers’ aged 25-54 years old through a mix of media relations, influencers, content creation (including videos) and an ‘always-on’ approach to social media.

The new campaign positioning, “there’s more to onions” aimed to inspire and encourage Australian consumers to use more onions, in different ways in their cooking. “There’s more to onions” refers to the flavour, nutritional and variety of cooking options that this vegetable can be used for (such as baking, sizzling and caramelising.) The messaging for this campaign included: “more tang”, “more bake”, “more sizzle”, “more caramelise”, “more flavour” and “more nutrition”.

Media relations

For the media campaign, new recipe content was leveraged to third-party media outlets. Coverage was secured with top tier media outlets including The Daily Telegraph, New Idea, Nourish Magazine, Body + Soul and Woman’s Day. Over 24 million opportunities to see the onion-inspired content were secured through this activity.

Media and influencer hampers were delivered, to keep onions at the front of the content distributors’ minds and featured the ingredients to make one of Hort Innovation’s recently created recipes, the ‘Vegetable and Red Onion Pasta Bake.’ The onion hampers resulted in over 700,000 opportunities for Australians to see the content via social media.

Influencer relations

To help engage fans on the Australian Onions social channels, inspire Australian families to use more onions in their cooking and drive purchasing frequency, work was undertaken with Sneh Roy of Cook Republic, chef Tom Walton and recipe developer Lisa Holmen. The aim of bringing these food experts together was to create a suite of new recipes, imagery and assets for sharing on the Australian Onions social channels and promoting to media outlets.

To further develop “there’s more to onions” positioning and appeal to the ‘main grocery buyers’ target audience, a range of assets were created. Some highlights of the influencer campaign were:

  • The top performing post on Australian Onion’s Instagram channel was Sneh Roy’s Whole Red Onions The post generated 904 engagements alongside a reach of over 7,500 people.
  • The top performing post on Australian Onion’s Facebook page was Lisa Holmen’s Roasted Onions with Parmesan Breadcrumbs. The post reached over 27,000 people and had over 3,400 engagements (likes and comments).


Two short videos were produced to highlight the ‘there’s more to onions’ messaging and they were promoted online and shared on the Australian Onions social media channels. The first video was watched over 7,000 times (4,900 on Facebook and 2,200 on Instagram). The second video was watched over 7,800 times (3,900 on Facebook and 3,800 on Instagram).

Social media

The ‘always-on’ approach to social media was to inspire Australian families to include more onions in their everyday shop. This was achieved by educating, demonstrating, and inspiring Australians to eat more onions every day, by showcasing that onions have a diverse range of culinary experiences to offer. 

The strategy consisted of posting twice a week on both Facebook and Instagram with a mix of content that sat under the umbrella of three content pillars: “more than a sizzle (50 per cent)”, “pantry staple (30 per cent)” and “healthy hero (20 per cent)”.

A social media competition was executed in May to encourage user generated content and engagement on the Australian Onions social media channels. Audiences were given the opportunity to win a Baccarat Air-Fryer by sharing their most-loved onion dish or recipe on either Facebook or Instagram. The competition achieved 200 entries (85 more than the previous year) and reached 11,920 people.

Some highlights of the social media campaign were:

  • More than 5.6 million impressions (opportunities to see the content)
  • More than 132,000 engagements (likes and comments)
  • Average engagement rate on Facebook of 14 per cent
  • The top performing Facebook post was a French Onion Beef Sliders recipe, achieving 946 engagements and an engagement rate of 8 per cent
  • The top performing Instagram post was a Sour Cream & Onion Chicken recipe, achieving 2,396 engagements and a high engagement rate of 16 per cent.

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