Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the papaya marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Papaya Fund. Here’s a quick look at some of the activities and achievements of 2019/20, for both the domestic and export marketing campaigns.
The 2019/20 marketing program marked the second year of the three-year strategy to drive category growth for Australian Papaya. The focus of the strategy is on growing household reach by positioning Australian Papaya as a delicious and ideal fruit for families, particularly with its strong health benefits across the different life stages.
Public relations (PR)
As part of securing media coverage and conversation about papaya, a number of different activities were undertaken. Overall, these activities delivered a total of 15.5 million opportunities for people to see papaya content through a mixture of traditional and online coverage. This result represents an additional 3.3 million people being exposed to papaya content compared to last year.
The aim of the media outreach was to remind consumers of papaya availability, especially during the peak seasons of autumn and spring. Media materials included two seasonal press releases, new papaya-inspired recipes from influencers, the papaya health report and a ‘tips and tricks’ fact sheet. These materials were used to encourage media and influencers to drive conversation and coverage about Australian passionfruit during the spring and autumn peaks. The desired outcome was for consumers to develop confidence in selecting, storing and using papaya as part of a healthy diet.
The Papaya Australia Facebook page (www.facebook.com/papayaaustralia) performed exceptionally well, with a strong fan base and high level of community engagement (10 per cent average engagement rate versus the five per cent target).
A mix of created and curated content that focused on varietal information, grower updates and recipe inspiration was employed to drive awareness, education, and inspiration among target audiences. Grower content appealed greatly to fans and when accompanied with a seasonal update it garnered high engagement and reach on the page. With two posts per week throughout the campaign, the page delivered 1.8 million opportunities for Australian consumers to see papaya content.
To further engage media around Australian Papaya and to amplify key messages to consumers, particularly during the spring peak, four key influencers were selected to produce bright, summery imagery for recipes that focused on parenting and health. The influencers the papaya marketing program worked with were Leah Itsines, Healthy Little Foodies, Rebecca Hawthorne and Panaceas Pantry. This activity provided two million opportunities for people to see beautiful papaya content.
In 2019, the marketing program conducted in-store sampling during September and October in Woolworths and Coles as well as independent grocery stores. The objective was to convert shoppers to buyers and to communicate key messages about the benefits of papaya. Over the course of this activity over 26,000 samples were distributed across 183 stores.
Impact of COVID-19
Due to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, the industry’s social media content calendar was reviewed to ensure that communications were appropriate in the current climate while continuing to inspire Australians to eat papaya. With increasing interest in home cooking and health during this period, the review included the following decisions:
- Refining the tone of voice to ensure contextual appropriateness (for example, no referencing ‘entertaining with friends’)
- Ensuring messaging was helpful and useful during social distancing / isolation periods, such as showcasing recipes great for freezing, or sharing tips on extending the life of fresh produce through proper storage techniques
- Dialing up health messaging to keep consumers aware of the nutritional benefits eating papaya can provide
- Continuing educational messaging on selection, usage and storage ideas.
Also, the papaya marketing program had planned to run a sampling stand as part of the Tropical Fruit Exhibit at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to incoming COVID-19 restrictions.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Papaya Fund