Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the table grape marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption of Australian table grapes, under the Hort Innovation Table Grape Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from the 2020/21 domestic and export marketing campaigns.
The 2020/21 domestic marketing campaign repositioned Australian table grapes as a healthy and fun fruit to be enjoyed on any occasion as ‘little moments of joy’. The program aimed to increase demand for table grapes via three key pillars; driving awareness at the beginning of the season; showcasing their health benefits and versatility; and highlighting their provenance story. The campaign strategically targeted older couples and singles (45-60 years old), and included content creation, social media activity, and digital advertising and amplification on the YouTube platform.
A variety of visual content was created to support the campaign lifestyle videos, inspiring recipes, lifestyle photography and variety photography. The content was designed for a range of channels and activities and was used to promote consumer engagement with Australian table grapes.
Across the season a social media campaign was executed using the Aussie Grapes Facebook (www.facebook.com/AustralianGrapes) and Instagram (@aussiegrapes) pages. The campaign focused on Facebook activity, as it provided scale to reach the target audience, while Instagram was utilised to further promote content and ensure families (who make up 38 per cent of the market share) were not alienated from communications.
The social media activities reached a total of 1.6 million people and generated 9.9 million impressions (or possible opportunities to see the campaign). For Western Australian consumers, over two million impressions were generated, demonstrating the effectiveness of targeted and relevant awareness driving communications.
Audience engagement was a strong with an average engagement rate of 9.35 per cent, significantly surpassing the industry average of 1.16 per cent. Consistent positive sentiment was received throughout the campaign, specifically from grape lovers on recipe content, demonstrating that the campaign is building brand and product relevance with key audiences.
Short, easy to view 15 and 6 second video content was used across the YouTube platform to further engage the key target audience. As YouTube continues to be the largest platform for video consumption reaching 20 million Australians, it allowed Australian table grapes to engage the key target audience through inspiring content to ultimately drive awareness and excitement across the season.
Nationally (excluding WA), a total of over 2.4 million impressions (opportunities to see the content) were generated with people seeing the key communication message and call to action, surpassing the KPI. In Western Australia, over 941,000 impressions were generated, also surpassing the KPI in place.
Taste Australia Marketing Program
The Taste Australia consumer retail marketing program ran from early April to mid-June 2021 in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, China and the Philippines. Due to the challenges of COVID-19, growing conditions and supply chain disruptions, the campaign had to adapt as the season progressed.
The program was initially designed with a full suite of marketing activities in most markets, however in February the scope was significantly reduced to facilitate a simpler retail program. The delivered activities focused on providing clear support to trade partners while also investing in e-commerce and digital marketing.
Additional funding was secured from the Victorian State Government’s Export Recovery Program, which was used to implement additional e-commerce, digital marketing activities and an additional market to which China was selected in agreement with the Table Grapes Export Working Group.
- In Japan, the focus of the campaign was in-store promotion without sampling as this was not permitted in the execution window due to COVID-19 restrictions. This comprised of the placement of Point Of Sale Material (POSM) such as banners and wobblers in areas where Australian table grapes were sold. These were distributed across a mix of major national, local and regional stores – 344 in total. Based on the data collected from retail partners the period the activity was in market, the campaign achieved a 388 per cent increase year-on-year, with a total amount of $347,700 in sales.
- In South Korea, the campaign included a combination of in-store, digital marketing, and e-commerce. Despite challenges with COVID-19, product quality and supply chains, in-store activities were able to proceed. To support the retail channel an in-store display competition was paired with a retail sampling initiative. The campaign included the provision of posters, mini-banners, uniforms for staff and tasting items to educate and inform consumers about Australian Table Grapes and ran across three major retailers encompassing 51 stores. During this periodmore than 170 sampling sessions took place, resulting in $45,903 in sales. The digital marketing campaign in South Korea was essentially divided into two components: broadcast television integration (on two very popular TV shopping platforms) and advertising banners on the main online e-commerce platform, resulting in a total of 36,500 kilograms of Australian product sold.
- In Vietnam, the campaign comprised an integrated approach using digital and key opinion leader (KOL), or influencer activities. An in-store display competition among tier one retailers was implemented in conjunction with a ‘gift-with-purchase’ program across their flagship stores. An e-commerce program focused on driving reach and were used to promote Australian Table Grapes under Taste Australia and to strengthen brand image and awareness among Vietnamese consumers This activity reached over two million customers. The KOL campaign engaged three high profile KOLs to showcase the quality and health benefits of Australian Table Grapes, hosting giveaway programs to drive engagement. These giveaways and prizes drove 600 entries, with ultimately nine winners provided with a gift box of Australian Table Grapes. An additional 10 influencers were engaged to drive awareness and education on Australian Table Grapes, producing 13 posts across their social media accounts that reached 900,000 people, generated 49,600 impressions and 50,000 views.
- In China, online promotions were conducted through e-commerce platforms in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, driving $283,695 in total sales over a two-month period, representing an increase of 33.68 per cent versus year prior. Activity was also undertaken with three key opinion leaders on Weibo to build confidence around Australian table grapes among Chinese consumers. These leaders were provided with a gift box of Australian table grapes and shared unboxing videos, tasting videos and other engaging content which, resulted in a total of 8.72 million impressions. Content involving kids and families were the most engaging, especially when referring to the product’s high quality, cleanliness and safety.
- In the Philippines, the campaign comprised of four core activities: a retail sampling program, influencer engagement, e-commerce, and social media. The retail sampling component included an in-store display competition and product introductions in stores to drive conversion. Two major retail partners were involved with activity occurring across 42 stores between the 21 May to 6 June. The product engagement and introductions resulted in increased sales of 157 per cent during the promotion period. The e-commerce program included five retailers and was aimed at driving the awareness of Australian Table Grapes using feature pages, online advertising, and promotions. A ‘gift-with-purchase’ promotion was implemented to complement the online activities. A long-time partner of the Taste Australia program, high-profile local Chef Luigi Muhlach was engaged to showcase Australian table grapes. Chef Luigi created recipe videos that reached approximately 648,000 viewers on Facebook. Content posted Luigi’s Facebook and Instagram generated 16,000 reactions, 242,000 video views and reached more than 3,300,000 followers demonstrating the content was highly relevant and engaging.
- In Thailand, the campaign included online and offline activities to accommodate the challenges Thailand faced because of the impacts of COVID-19 (particularly at the beginning of the campaign). Retail activity included a gift-with-purchase’ promotion, point of sale materials and influencer engagement to educate and drive awareness. Taste Australia point of sale materials were displayed in more than 300 store locations. The gift-with-purchase’ promotion involved 131 stores, with customers able to get a free Taste Australia branded shopping bag if they spent THB 250 on Australian table grapes. TOPS supermarket was the core e-commerce partner in Thailand, and activity included the inclusion of social content and advertising across their social Facebook, Instagram and LINE accounts and online platforms. This activity reached 1,260,000 people.
- In Indonesia, the campaign focused on promoting the health and nutritional benefits of Australian table grapes. The core activities included retail promotions (product sampling, point of sale materials, an in-store display competition, merchandise, and retailer giveaways) key opinion leaders, chef cooking demonstrations and E-commerce. The retail program ran from April through to mid-May. It was designed to drive awareness during Ramadan – a peak shopping period to capitalise on. Activity included store promotions and products sampling, POSM, an in-store display competition, voucher giveaways, key opinion leader engagement, and a promotional campaign in Jakarta and surrounding areas. Point of sale materials including wobblers, flag chains, banners, staff uniforms and posters were displayed over two weeks at four retail groups - Ranch Market, Food Hall, Hypermar and AEON. Major retailer AEON’s sales of Australian Table Grapes (Hypermart cannot provide figures due to a lack of monitoring tools), with the GWP and social promotion increasing sales from $19,773 pre-promotion to $62,326 during and post promotion. Limited in-store product tastings took place in these locations on weekends with a focus on up-market retailers. Stores provided incentive vouchers for high value purchases of Australian table grapes, while a similar program run on three e-commerce platforms resulting in a sales increase of 315 per cent during the period. A set of social influencers were also selected to drive awareness among target audiences about Australian table grapes, providing information on where to buy them and the health and nutritional benefits. This component reached 1,863,499 people with total impressions of 1,955,800 (including 891,529 video views. Major retailers AEON and Hypermart posted Taste Australia Table Grapes content across their websites and social media channels resulting in over 3.5m impressions. The media program involved working with in market influencers. AEON retailer activity drove a year-on-year increase in Australian table grapes sales by 315 per cent.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Table Grape Fund