Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the onion marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Onion Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from 2018/19, the second year of a three-year strategy that focuses on demonstrating the versatility of onions to consumers.
Public relations (PR) and social media
During 2018/19, the social media campaign for the industry continued with its ‘always on’ approach, delivering onion inspiration, recipes and tips via social media and the Australian Onions consumer-facing website (www.australianonions.com.au).
On the PR side of things, the objective of the program was to encourage Australians to buy onions more often by consistently providing them with compelling messages. Media outreach involved a suite of recipe content, all of which were easy, tasty, healthy and family-friendly. This content was supported by onion health facts and resulted in 18 pieces of traditional media coverage with a reach of 8.2 million people, while for social media there were 11 pieces of coverage with a reach of 3.1 million.
Recipe content delivered strong engagement across the marketing program’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/australianonions) and Instagram (@aussieonions) channels. Images of comforting dishes with onions as the ‘hero’ ingredient performed well, delivering strong engagement from consumers. The Australian Onions Facebook page grew to 23,064 followers, with activity resulting in 1.01 million opportunities for people to see onion-related content. Engagement was strong with an engagement rate (likes and comments) of nine per cent. Instagram continued to steadily build, with the activity resulting in 337,444 opportunities for people to see the content with 26,411 engagements, such as likes or comments, resulting in a strong engagement rate of 12 per cent.
Influencer activity included partnerships with the following three food influencers to drive reach and awareness for Australian Onions:
- Casey-Lee Lyons, founder and director of online health and wellness brand ‘Live Love Nourish’, known for developing nutritional recipes and wellness programs.
- Louise Keats, a food and nutrition writer, cookbook author and magazine columnist.
- Ben Milbourne, host of Ben’s Menu, a television cooking series on Channel Ten.
Casey-Lee, Louise and Ben each created two unique onion recipes, which provided an authentic and engaging way to connect with their audiences and further promote onions.
The Australian Onions consumer-facing website (www.australianonions.com.au) is designed to engage, educate and inspire consumers to purchase more onions by highlighting their versatility and health benefits. Providing a destination for onion recipe inspiration, two of the most popular recipes on the site so far have been Slow Roasted Onions With Cheesy Bacon Crumble and Little Chickpea Patties. During the reporting period, links from social media were responsible for driving more than half of consumer traffic to the site, while 22 per cent of visitors came from organic search results, and 15 per cent from direct search results (people typing the website link into their browser). New visitors averaged 91 per cent per month.
To assist in raising awareness and consumption of onions, 15 new recipes were created to be used across social media and for media outreach. These recipes demonstrated the versatility of onions and were also used to develop inspiring and mouth-watering content in the form of six 15-second stop-motion videos to increase engagement with Australian consumers through social media channels.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Onion Fund