Hort Innovation invests the macadamia marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund. These activities are managed in collaboration between Hort Innovation and our partner team at the Australian Macadamia Society, who have provided this quick summary of trade and consumer marketing highlights from 2019/20.
TRADE CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS
2019/20 saw the Australian macadamia industry complete its three-year international marketing strategy, known as the ‘Innovation Initiative’. Significant new global investment in macadamia growing will see more robust supply become available in coming years and this supply shift will create new opportunities for commercial product development. The Innovation Initiative is working to support food manufacturers who are eager to incorporate macadamias in their new product development plans.
Macadamia Marketing Toolkit
Launched in 2017, the Macadamia Marketing Toolkit has been helping the commercial sector convey a compelling story about macadamias and illustrate the many benefits to food manufacturers of including macadamias in their innovation pipelines. A host of new assets were added to the kit during the 2019/20 period, including a new chocolate research video, consumer promotion highlights, sustainability information, updated health and wellbeing information, and a brand video library.
New trade website launched
The revitalised Australian Macadamias trade website (trade.australianmacadamias.org) was launched in late March 2020 and features a fresh, contemporary design and an improved user experience, with site visitors now able to more easily find content, connect with Australian Macadamias on LinkedIn, subscribe to the e-newsletter, and find a macadamia supplier.
The Australian Macadamias LinkedIn page was launched in late September 2019, and quickly grew to become an important part of the communications mix. Enabling weekly communication with the market, it ensures that if people miss the trade newsletter communication, or are not subscribed to it, they can still connect with important content. Content additional to the newsletter is also shared, with the channel averaging two to three posts per week. Followers have grown almost 450 per cent in nine months.
The monthly trade e-newsletter, The Macadamia Review, has continued to inform its international trade audience about the industry’s marketing news and insights. Published in English, German and Japanese, in 2019/20 its content focused on innovation to align with the aims of the Innovation Initiative, with health, event news, and consumer promotion updates also featured in the content mix.
Trade public relations (PR)
An international trade PR campaign was launched to leverage the strengths of the Australian macadamia industry in the sustainability space. It highlighted how Australia’s macadamia growers are using scientific research to understand the inherently sustainable characteristics of the macadamia tree and guide the adoption of sustainable on-farm practices in order to meet the demands of today’s conscious consumer. This messaging appeared in key trade media publications around the world, with combined circulation of 2.7 billion.
CONSUMER CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS
The Australian Macadamias brand was actively promoted to consumers in Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Germany in 2019/20, with teams in each of these markets creating content to promote Australian Macadamias as a pure ingredient offering a pleasurable and guilt-free experience that can elevate food and life.
Sample Food Festival (Australia): Australian Macadamias sponsored the Sample Food Festival in the Northern Rivers for the 9th consecutive year. Macadamias were included in key festival events, cooking demonstrations and tasting plates. A local artist was recruited to create a vibrant mural to represent macadamias in Spring. Festival visitors could take a photo of themselves in front of the mural, take a free recipe card, and crack macadamias to eat. A selection of micro-influencers were engaged which helped to amplify the activity on social media.
Seikatsunoki immersive macadamia events (Japan): Seikatsunoki is a respected healthy lifestyle brand with more than 120 stores throughout Japan. A partnership with this brand proved to be a highlight of the winter campaign in Japan, with live macadamia beauty and culinary events running in-store, timed to coincide with Australia Day. A Seikatsunoki store in Tokyo ran macadamia beauty workshops where participants learned how to make their own facial oil and essential oil blend using macadamia nut oil. An hour from Tokyo, the Yakkosouen restaurant and bakery at Seikatsunoki’s herb garden created a special macadamia lunch buffet. These events were accompanied by a tailored PR and social media strategy, ensuring they were shared with a wider audience.
New brand videos and recipe content
A host of new video and imagery was developed, including:
- Three long and eight short brand videos that brought the many layers of the macadamia narrative to life, including health and wellbeing, beauty, growing and harvesting, processing, creativity in the kitchen, and the macadamia origin story.
- More than 500 new images that were added to the Australian Macadamias library for content creation, including lifestyle, harvest, flowering, beauty and snacking.
- Twenty two new recipes with accompanying photography and instructional videos.
In South Korea, collaborations with nine online influencers produced a variety of macadamia content spanning lifestyle, recipes, family, beauty, health, and fitness. This engaging content was shared across Instagram and the popular South Korean platform Naver.
In China, two collaborations with Chinese influencers reached a combined audience of more than one million people. Popular food blogger FanHe created a series of brunch ideas using macadamias which he shared with his substantial Weibo audience. This content highlighted the health benefits of macadamias while positioning them as a great start to the day. Another collaboration with a popular food and lifestyle blogger leveraged Double Eleven – a huge online shopping event in China. Her content positioned macadamias as the ideal snack to give you energy to stay up late for the Double Eleven online shopping event.
In Australia, 2019/20 saw the continuation of a long-term partnership with Live Love Nourish – a popular blog run by naturopath and nutritionist Casey-Lee Lyons. Four new macadamia recipes with matching videos and photography were developed and shared across our platform and hers, reaching an audience of approximately one million people.
In Taiwan, brand collaborations produced engaging new occasion-based content in this market. A Moon Festival collaboration with award-winning bakery brand DOREMI saw macadamia tarts added to its line-up of Moon Festival delicacies, reminding fans that macadamia products make a delicious and indulgent choice for holiday gifts or desserts. Collaborations with Thank You Nuts saw Taiwanese Facebook fans invited to share online macadamia-themed Christmas greeting cards, with the activity also integrated on popular message app LINE. For New Year’s Eve, fans were invited to share a new year greeting with friends and family.
In Germany, a successful long term partnership with German influencer Anja Auer of Woman on the Grill continued, with Australian Macadamias featuring as a guest blogger on her website. This enabled the sharing of popular macadamia recipes with a potential audience of around 10 million each month.
Occasion-based content and competitions
What do you love most about macadamias? (all markets): Fans on Facebook and WeChat were offered the chance to win a macadamia prize for answering this question, which offered valuable cross-market consumer insights, revealing that Australian, Japanese and South Korean fans love macadamias’ delicious taste the most, while in Taiwan and China, it’s their health benefits.
Party time with Australian Macadamias (Australia): Tying in with a pre-Christmas ‘entertaining’ theme, this activity invited fans to enter the draw to win one of five macadamia party packs. More than 4,000 people entered, with 87 per cent of those also subscribing to the Australian Macadamias monthly e-newsletter, which is now distributed to more than 23,000 consumers.
Christmas giveaways (Germany): Two festive competitions in this market attracted strong engagement. The ‘Crack-a-mac’ competition offered fans the chance to win a nutcracker with nut-in-shell, while a second giveaway offered German blog and Facebook fans the chance to nominate a loved one to win MyMuesli Apple Macadamia Cinnamon Granola.
Valentine’s Day (Japan): 2020 Valentine’s Day trends inspired a collection of easy macadamia recipes for Japanese fans that can be made to say thank you not only to a partner, but any loved one. It included dishes to appeal to adults, and fun handmade gifts to make with children.
Happy ‘Malentine’s Day’ (Taiwan): This activity consisted of four personalised and fun ideas for making macadamia Valentine (‘Malentine’) gifts, each focused on a different characteristic: caring, energetic, sweet, and knowledgeable. Fans were invited to share which type of ‘malentine’ best suited their partner’s personality, encouraging engagement, and building an emotional connection with fans.
Chinese New Year (China): A series of Chinese New Year macadamia posts were created, featuring a cute macadamia cartoon character in festive outfits. Weibo fans were encouraged to share these and tag their friends for the chance to win a macadamia prize.
IMPACT OF COVID-19
The primary impact of COVID-19 on the Australian Macadamias marketing program has been determining how best to connect with consumers in a way that is relevant, respectful, and timely. With a program spanning five markets, each with their own unique cultural preferences, varying levels of macadamia knowledge and at differing stages of the pandemic, this required an agile approach and in-depth knowledge of the audience. Messaging was successfully reshaped to suit the conditions in each market, reaffirming the relevance of macadamias to consumers lives during this tumultuous time.
Examples of how this was executed in each market include:
- Australia: Communication focused on how macadamias can play a role in spending more time at home. Content included macadamia snacking inspiration for working from home, macadamia inspired activities to keep children entertained, ideas for spending Easter at home, and how to create your own luxury in-home day spa experience with macadamia oil.
- Japan: A new lifestyle video posed the question ‘What drives an explorer’? Created to reinforce the Australian Macadamias brand positioning, the video showed how macadamias can elevate life, and took on extra significance during the pandemic, when people were appreciative of simple freedoms, like hiking and swimming with friends.
- Taiwan: Facebook fans were inspired to cook with macadamias to take care of their health during the pandemic. A macadamia recipe was shared every day for a week, with each day’s recipe tied to a specific health benefit, such as fibre intake, building muscle, fat loss, or enhanced immunity. Fans could comment on which recipe they were going to cook and why for the chance to win a macadamia prize.
- China: The Chinese social media team developed an interactive online tool to increase macadamia health messaging. The interactive experience enabled fans to determine their ‘invisible personality’, with a tailored ‘prescription’ involving Australian grown macadamias offered at the end of the online journey.
- South Korea: To leverage the hyper-awareness of health and hygiene, Korean Facebook fans were invited to share their ‘healthy lifestyle resolution’ for the chance to win a gift pack of Australian grown macadamias and hand sanitiser.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund