Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the raspberries and blackberries marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and use of raspberries and blackberries under the Hort Innovation Raspberry and Blackberry Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from 2018/19.
Increasing the domestic per capita consumption of raspberries and blackberries by 40 per cent by 2021, supported by positive consumer perceptions of product value, is a key industry priority identified in the raspberry and blackberry industry’s Strategic Investment Plan.
The 2018/19 marketing plan supported this priority by working to increase penetration through creating a value proposition for raspberries and blackberries where the key message was turning simple into super with fresh Aussie raspberries and blackberries. Here the key message was about turning the simple into super with fresh Aussie raspberries and blackberries.
Key activities were targeted at main grocery buyers 25 to 54 years of age and young ‘transitionals’, 25 to 35 years of age. There was a focus on driving awareness of seasonality, educating consumers about the super health benefits, inspiring everyday usage occasions and building consumer confidence through product education.
Food stylist and recipe developer Megann Evans was engaged to produce recipes for use across the Australian raspberries and blackberries owned and earned platforms. Megann created 11 different recipes and corresponding stop-motion and cinemagraph images. Megann also shared these images on her own channels to her engaged audience of followers.
In addition, clinical nutritionist Nadia Felsch was engaged to review the existing health messages for raspberries and blackberries, to translate these messages for a consumer audience and to develop compelling health content to leverage via PR and social media. Nadia delivered key health messages via a media event (read on for more on this) and also shared health messages and a simple berry yoghurt recipe creation on her social media channels.
Through both ambassadors posting berries content on their channels, there were some 60,000 opportunities for people to see raspberry and blackberry content and messaging.
Public relations (PR)
The PR strategy for raspberries and blackberries was to extend the reach of paid advertising and promotions to earned coverage across traditional media, social media, and blogs. It sought to inspire the use of raspberries and blackberries for different occasions, and to educate consumers about the health benefits of berries.
In February 2019 a major media event was held at Sydney’s Hatted Restaurant Banksii, where Head Chef Hamish Ingham drove home the ‘from simple to super’ messaging. Sixteen media and influencers enjoyed a three-course berry inspired meal by Hamish; were given media kits which included a berry fact sheet, berry recipe card, grazing platter and berry pairing tips; and were invited to make their own grazing board on the day to share on social media and take home. Nutritionist Nadia Felsch attended the event to share the health messaging of berries, while influencer Megann Evans demonstrated how to create the ‘berry best’ grazing board. Content from the day, including Hamish’s recipes, appeared across owned and earned channels for Australian raspberries and blackberries.
These activities generated coverage with a reach of 7.4 million, exceeding the KPI of four million, with 59 pieces of coverage secured across media, including top tier outlets and social. Highlights included features within Woman’s Day, BW Magazine, that’s life! and Body & Soul.
Social media activity is a cost-efficient way to reach consumers, and to ‘keep a finger on the pulse’ in terms of how people are using raspberries and blackberries, answer any questions they have, and to give people an opportunity to simply share their love of fresh berries.
The role of social media in the marketing program is to help remind shoppers and consumers of the benefits of fresh raspberries and blackberries through compelling content. The 2018/19 social strategy focused on leveraging Facebook to keep Australian raspberries and blackberries top of mind and with one in three Australians using Instagram on a daily basis, 2019 saw the launch of the @freshaussieberries Instagram channel. On Facebook, the audience responded best to grower tips including storage info, beautiful berry imagery with nutritional information and indulgent but well-known dessert recipes such as pavlovas, cheesecakes and layered cakes. Over the course of the campaign, the Facebook page achieved 1.1 million opportunities for people to see the content (doubling the KPI of 500,000) and an average engagement rate of 11 per cent (exceeding the KPI of six per cent).
The @freshaussieberries Instagram page was used to promote messaging around taste, storage, selection, nutrition and availability. Recipes such as baked goods, as well as grazing platters, performed well and the use of ‘Instagram Stories’ and cinemagraphs were effective at driving reach across the platform. The page achieved 589,000 opportunities for people to see berry content (exceeding the KPI of 250,000) and delivered over 60,000 engagements (likes and comments).
Word of mouth remains the most trusted source for purchase influence, so influencers on social media are an important part of a marketing campaign. Throughout the 2018/19 marketing campaign there was a partnership with TRIBE, an influencer platform, to connect with micro-influencers. This was an effective way to create campaign content, drive audience reach for berries, and grow the new Instagram account in a short amount of time. TRIBE influencers were asked to share their best fresh berries dish taking something simple to super. In total, 13 creator posts provided over 674,000 opportunities for people to see the content and achieved over 24,900 engagements (likes and comments).
The objective of in-store sampling was to demonstrate the ways in which fresh raspberries and blackberries can be incorporated into snacking and different meal occasions to increase purchase frequency, and to drive visibility and conversion at point of purchase.
Across 60 Coles and 60 Woolworths stores in February and March, customers sampled raspberries filled with yoghurt, and yoghurt topped with blackberries and coconut. Product brochures were handed out with each sample to reinforce both recipe inspiration and health information. More than 16,600 samples were consumed and over 22,000 shoppers were exposed to the product, helping to drive a seven per cent uplift in units sold within Woolworths stores where sampling occurred (based on Quantium data).
Further sampling of fresh raspberries was also conducted across four Costco stores. Across all stores there was a 100 per cent sales uplift (measured on the same day the week prior to the demo) and consumers provided positive feedback including “Love the taste, great value for money”, “Great for a healthy snack”, and “Good price, love the flavour, they look amazing”.
Consumer surveys were conducted in a handful of Coles and Woolworths stores where sampling occurred to help understand the consumers’ perceptions of the sample, and whether it had a positive influence on intent to purchase. A total of 500 shoppers participated, and overall respondents had a positive reaction to the products. Some 79 per cent indicated they were likely to buy the product after trying a sample and over 95 per cent of respondents rated the quality ‘very good’ or ‘good’. Positive consumer feedback included that the sampled products were “A great way for kids to eat berries” and after trying blackberries “I normally buy raspberries but will now get one of each.” Indicated areas for improvement included larger punnet sizes, affordability and shelf life. Comments included “I love these but I prefer them when they are below $4” and “They do not keep very long, that’s why I prefer to buy them frozen”.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Raspberry and Blackberry Fund