Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the macadamia marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund.
These activities are managed by our partner team at the Australian Macadamia Society, who have provided this snapshot of how the macadamia marketing program will adapt to the new consumer and retail landscape created by COVID-19.
The Australian macadamia marketing program actively markets Australian grown macadamias to consumer and trade audiences in a host of markets including Australia, Japan, Europe, Taiwan, South Korea and China.
So far macadamias have not been significantly affected by the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. While there have been some delays in the supply chain, demand for macadamias and other nuts has been strong, as they are a healthy food, great for snacking at home, shelf stable and easy to supply via online shopping.
- Initial messages of solidarity were shared on consumer channels in China when the outbreak first escalated in that market
- Increased messaging about health and wellness, along with recipes including macadamias, in most markets
- Additional social media content supplied to export markets to support the need for more health, recipe and snack content
- Additional monitoring of social media messaging undertaken to ensure appropriateness and relevance to the situation as it evolved
- The timing of some content was revised. For example, the launch of a new lifestyle video depicting people enjoying outdoor activities has been delayed until such time as social distancing rules are more relaxed
- Some content was revised to reflect the new situation. For example, a planned Easter picnic blog post was revised to ‘Our favourite treats for an Easter at home’.
A campaign focusing on sustainability was originally scheduled for March but has been shifted back to May. This not only ensured that the campaign wasn’t competing with the pandemic’s dominance in the news at the time, but that trade media is targeted at a time when audiences globally are hungry for non-pandemic news.
The methodology and timing of the next round of consumer insights research have been adjusted, with focus groups being conducted online rather than face-to-face, and the timing pushed out to allow time for the pandemic’s peak to pass.
Trade news content related to Meiji’s sponsorships of the Tokyo Olympics was abandoned due to the event’s postponement.
The upcoming edition of the AMS News Bulletin for growers will feature an article outlining the impact COVID-19 is likely to have on the marketing of macadamias. This informs growers of several trends emerging from the pandemic that offer opportunities for Australian grown macadamias, such as an increased focus on health and hygiene, cooking and working from home, more online shopping, and a focus on buying local and food origin.
Opportunities to increase trust messaging will be pursued across all markets and channels. This may include content related to premium quality, production standards, and Australia as a ‘clean and green’ origin for macadamias. Likewise, opportunities to promote health messaging will be pursued.
Consideration is being given to the development of a trade news story in conjunction with Australia’s macadamia suppliers, to assure the market that the consistency of Australian product will not be hindered by COVID-19.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund