Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the passionfruit marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption of the fruit, under the Hort Innovation Passionfruit Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from 2018/19.
This year saw another successful Australian Passionfruit marketing campaign to help drive growth for the category. The focus was on leveraging the seasonal peaks using public relations, social media, influencers and in-store activity to drive timely awareness and consumption.
Public relations (PR)
A range of PR activities, including seasonal media outreach, media hampers, reactive media activity and a farm tour delivered a total of 12.5 million opportunities for people to see passionfruit content through a mixture of traditional and online coverage.
Media materials including seasonal press releases, new recipe content, and passionfruit hampers were used to engage media and influencers to drive conversation and coverage about Australian passionfruit during the peaks.
In addition to this, to support the later-than-normal summer flush of passionfruit in 2018/19, there was reactive outreach to media outlets and engagement with key influencers, encouraging them to use their platforms to communicate the high supply of passionfruit to their communities. This was also supported with social media activity to encourage consumers to purchase more passionfruit during this time, including using grower content for greater support. This specific outreach activity resulted in 22 pieces of social coverage, with more than 590,000 opportunities for people to see the passionfruit content.
Media farm tour
A farm tour was hosted to kickstart the winter peak, with food blogger and influencer Nagi Maehashi from RecipeTin Eats, and 9Kitchen editor Jane de Graaff and their videographers invited to visit a passionfruit farm in Beerburrum, Queensland for an opportunity to learn and experience the paddock to plate story.
RecipeTin Eats and 9Kitchen shared the experience on their social channels, resulting in 430,000 opportunities for people to see the content. 9Kitchen went on to develop a longer form feature on passionfruit for online, and it was Nagi’s most successful Instagram story for the year to date with more than 300 responses and 55 per cent of viewers watching the video until the end.
During 2018/19, the Australian Passionfruit Facebook page (www.facebook.com/aussiepassionfruit) increased fans and followers through curated and created content from Aussie growers, food bloggers and recipe creators, with intent to inspire passionfruit use throughout the whole year. The Facebook content resonated most strongly with an older female audience, from 45+. Striking light, bright dessert recipes proved most popular with this audience. The page was able to deliver 1.4 million opportunities to see the content with an engagement rate of seven per cent versus a target of five per cent.
The Australian Passionfruit Instagram (@aussiepassionfruit) continued to be a key platform, growing to more than 2000 fans in 2018/19, an increase of 50 per cent from the prior year.
Activity was scheduled twice per week throughout the campaign, posting a mix of curated and created content focused on taste, ease and health with Aussie passionfruit, supported by advertising to boost reach and engagement.
The Instagram page achieved 258,000 opportunities to see Australian passionfruit content with a strong engagement rate of 12 per cent versus a 10 per cent target.
Word of mouth remains an influential mechanism to target consumers, so in 2018/19 the Australian passionfruit marketing program partnered with TRIBE, an influencer platform, to connect with six ‘micro-influencers’ to maximise consumer reach by developing passionfruit content that provided ideas on how to use the fruit in different dishes while encouraging fans to follow the Australian Passionfruit Instagram page. This activity generated 127,000 opportunities for people to see the content and close to 4900 likes.
In-store activity occurred for six weeks starting at the tail end of 2017/18 in June, extending into July 2018 in Coles and Woolworths stores in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. Fresh passionfruit was sampled, and recipe brochures handed out. Consumers were also educated around seasonality, storage and handling.
A total of 115 sampling sessions were completed, with brand ambassadors achieving nearly 14,000 interactions with shoppers (an average of 122 per session), more than 8500 samples distributed (an average of 74 per session) and an estimate of close to 7800 passionfruit sold during sessions (an average of 68 per session).
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Passionfruit Fund