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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2017, edition 1

Publication date: 28 February 2017

This Hort Innovation Onion Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition 1.

The Secret Serve campaign for the Australian onion industry has been running since May 2016. To date it has a number of elements, including the below.

In-store activity

The in-store element of the campaign begun in October, and is one of the key components in the marketing mix. It involves collaboration with the mushroom industry to deliver sampling and demonstrations across a range of retailers. So far, demonstrations have occurred in more than 500 Coles, Woolworths and independent grocery stores, with a focus on summer-friendly recipes and bringing Secret Serve messaging to consumers.

Secret Serve ambassadors

As part of the upcoming marketing program there will be the use of ambassadors to help deliver Secret Serve messaging. The approach will encourage home cooks (and Australia’s mums in particular) to use more onions in family meals. Popular foodie Magdalena Roze and respected nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume will be joint spokespeople for the 2017 campaign. They will help showcase the health benefits of onions in the media and amplify Secret Serve campaign messages through their own networks.

Magdalena is an award-winning television presenter, author of cookbook Planet to Plate, and was previously a well-respected food reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide. Kathleen is a leading figure in the health and fitness space, delivering fresh health content via her publications and as a spokesperson across print, broadcast and online media, including, Daily Edition and Mindfood.

Kathleen will be able to leverage previous R&D-levy-funded research, including work into onions and health, to ensure she provides plenty of information about onions and the Secret Serve through media interviews, the sharing of content through her own channels, and the creation of recipes and images.

The goal is to reach a minimum of five million people through mainstream and social media channels through the ambassador activities, delivering compelling reasons for families to include onions in their everyday meals.

Website and social media

The website acts as an information hub with inspiring recipes and must-know onion information for consumers.

The last few months has also seen the Secret Serve team working on building assets such as new recipes and images for social media channels, and subsequently starting to build an online following here (where research reveals the majority of mums and home cooks turn to for recipe inspiration and ideas).

Although the Secret Serve is in its infancy of having a social media presence, there are plans to build on this aspect of the program in the second half of this year and into next.

It’s hoped that the Instagram account (@secretserve) and Facebook page ( will become a lively community of onion-keen consumers, who’ll be able to share their own recipes and ideas and build on the Secret Serve Society.


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