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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2016, winter

Publication date: 24 August 2016

This Hort Innovation Onion Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2016, winter edition.

The first-ever marketing campaign for the Australian onion industry has been launched. The Australian Onions ‘Secret Serve’ campaign aims to drive onion consumption by three to five per cent by promoting onions as a versatile, reliable, nutritious and delicious food. The campaign has a specific focus on parents with young children and will be encouraging these consumers to include onions in more meals. The opportunity for the Secret Serve campaign is huge, as research shows almost 95 per cent of kids aged two to 18 aren’t getting the recommended daily serves of vegetables.

To engage consumers, the campaign will provide plenty of family-friendly recipe ideas, tips and information about using onions. There will be digital platforms, printed material in the form of recipe cards, and in-store demonstrations.

In conjunction with the in-store activity, the secret serve website has been launched, acting as an information hub with inspiring recipes and must-know onion information for consumers.

Also, a number of celebrity brand advocates have been, and will continue to be, recruited to form the ‘Secret Serve Society’, through which they will offer their own favourite recipes to sneak onions into. Secret Serve Society members so far include renowned food personality Lindey Milan, popular Australian chef Mike McEnearney, celebrity chef Darren Robertson and television presenter Magdalena Roze. Their recipes will be featured on the Secret Serve website and some on recipe cards that will be distributed to key media outlets.

The campaign will also have a strong focus on social media. An Instagram account for the campaign has been launched (@secretserve) and on Twitter (#secret), with a Facebook page to follow. It is anticipated that the Facebook page will become a lively community of onion-keen consumers, who will be able to share their own recipes and ideas, which will also feed back into the website.

In-store activity

A major investment within the campaign to date has been for the in-store element. The onion industry has partnered with the mushroom industry as part of the campaign roll-out, bringing in-store cooking demonstrations to over 450 Woolworths, Coles, and independent supermarkets and green grocer venues across Australia.

Consumer surveys formed part of this in-store activity, with first insights revealing 80 per cent of those surveyed disguise vegetables in kids’ meals – reiterating that the strategic approach taken in the campaign is on song with the consumer.

The Secret Serve campaign launched on May 28, 2016, at green grocer Get Fresh Findon in South Australia, with the launch attracting attention from key trade media and foodies.


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