Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the Sweetpotato levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Sweetpotato Fund. Here’s a look at some of the most recent activity…
At the time of writing, the next burst of media advertising is in the planning phase, with the intent to go live from February 2019. The first media campaign for Australian Sweetpotatoes was launched in February 2018 which used digital, print and outdoor advertising nationally to drive awareness of the product. The campaign was estimated to reach 40% of the target audience of young families, translating to around 1.3 million people.
In the past year, over 5 million people have been reached by content featured on the Australian Sweetpotatoes and Instagram accounts. Social media channels continue to share sweetpotato-inspired recipes and meal ideas which have reached almost 2 million people since July this year. Results have shown that Australian sweetpotato fans are highly engaged tracking at a 4% engagement rate (industry engagement benchmark for Facebook is 0.2% and Instagram is 1.8%).
To further engagement in the social channels, there will be a competition later in the year running for four weeks asking Australians to showcase how they use their sweetpotato in creative, versatile and delicious ways during the warmer months and encouraging them to post their creations on Instagram or Facebook. Details behind this competition will be shared in the next update.
PR activities conducted during the year were a great success, delivering the opportunity to reach 25 million Aussies. This was a result of 101 pieces of sweetpotato coverage across traditional and online publications.
A major media event was held in early October to align with the spring peak for sweetpotatoes. The intent was to ensure that sweetpotatoes remained top of mind leading into warmer weather, as well as to demonstrate the vegetable’s versatility. The event leveraged insights on seasonality, selection and cooking tips from Australian sweetpotato growers who were guest speakers on the day.
A total of 14 media and influencers were in attendance, including from top tier media outlets such as Better Homes & Gardens and Delicious Australia. 21 clips and content were generated on the day of the event which achieved over 500,000 in reach.
Since July, overall PR activities have reached over 2 million people.
Engaging with parents and young families continued with Australian Sweetpotatoes present at the 2018 Ekka Show in August and the Sydney Essential Baby and Toddler show in September. At the Ekka, over 25,000 samples of sweetpotato and 30,000 brochures were distributed over the 10 days. For the Essential Baby and Toddler show, almost 7,000 sweetpotato samples and 11,500 brochures were handed out over the 3 days.
To encourage purchase of sweetpotatoes among grocery shoppers, Australian Sweetpotatoes held several in-store sampling campaigns. In July, Australian Sweetpotatoes took part in the Coles ‘Spudtacular’ event which allowed for over 18,000 interactions with shoppers to educate them on the versatility and health benefits of sweetpotatoes. 14,000 sweetpotato samples were distributed during this period.
Phase 2 of the sampling campaign is currently underway across 115 Woolworths stores nationally with 215 sessions scheduled (100 of these sessions have been funded by Woolworths). Similarly to Phase 1, intent of the campaign is to encourage trial, communicate sweetpotato health benefits, distribute recipe ideas through brochures and ultimately, promote conversion. This activity is due to conclude end of October.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Sweetpotato Fund