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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2017, edition 2

Publication date: 7 June 2017

This Hort Innovation Onion Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition 2.

The Secret Serve onion marketing initiative has celebrated its first full year in the market, having been launched back in May 2016.

  • In-store activity. The campaign has been a great success to date, and is continuing winter in-store demonstrations in conjunction with the mushroom industry throughout Coles, Woolworths and independent grocers around Australia. Look for results in upcoming editions of Hortlink.
  • Onion health report. The campaign has also recently released an onion health report – Health and Nutrition Overview 2017 – produced in conjunction with Secret Serve ambassador Kathleen Alleaume, a respected nutritionist. The report, detailing the benefits of onions, is available for consumers on the Secret Serve website (, and has also attracted widespread media coverage. It has so far prompted onion content across the web and social media channels of, Motherpedia, Kidspot, Westfield and many more, plus coverage in a range of local newspapers (13 at last count) and a mention on 2UE radio. Kathleen and dietitian Joanna McMillan have also produced web and social media coverage.
  • Recognition. The Secret Serve campaign has also enjoyed recent success in being nominated as one of five finalists in the PMA-Produce Marketer of the Year Awards – which recognises marketing campaigns for fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers that have shown excellence in the past year.

Facts and figures

To date, the goal of increasing frequency of purchase and the average weight of purchase of onions among parents of children aged four to 12 has been successful. All measures tracked by Nielsen sales data (average weight of purchase, frequency and spend per occasion) for the target demographic are up compared to 12 months ago, when the campaign began.

Small-scale families are cooking with more onions, understanding the campaign’s key messages, and there are indications the marketing activity is helping change minds about cooking with onions.

Some top-line results around the campaign to date:

  • Average spend per occasion for small scale families grew from $1.70 to $2 (achieving the campaign goal)
  • Frequency of purchase of onions for small scale families grew from 2.7 to 2.9 times per month
  • On average, 35 per cent of people who have sampled onion dishes at in-store demonstrations to date have gone on to purchase in-store
  • Close to 50 per cent of people visiting the Secret Serve website ( are returning ‘customers’ – showing strong recall and message comprehension
  • When people were surveyed on whether they had heard of the Secret Serve and could recollect what it was about, 18 per cent recalled the campaign and its messaging – well above the industry average of five per cent.



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