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2018 industry marketing hits top gear

Business Management

A successful stand at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, the integrated Hailstorm Heroes campaign to support SA growers, and the kick-off to the new 2018 Aussie Apples campaign are among the highlights of Hort Innovation’s recent apple and pear marketing efforts.

Apple and pear industry

Sydney Royal Easter Show

Aussie Apples and Australian Pears were again present at the Sydney Royal Easter Show (SRES), with a highly visual and engaging exhibit which was well positioned at the entrance of the Woolworths Food Farm.

This year 782,000 attendees enjoyed the show, with 553,000 entering the Woolworths Food Farm. Hort Innovation’s Apple and Pear Marketing Manager, Olivia Grey, said floor staff, with the help of Aussie Apples mascot Mr Crunch, sold apple and pear slinkies, whole fruit and apple juice at the show. Apple and pear recipe cards were also distributed at the show.

“The strategic decision to sell apple juice created cost and time efficiencies which enable us to spend time on sampling and educating consumers about different varieties, including Royal Gala, Granny Smith and Fuji apples and Williams pears,” Olivia said.

She said despite this year’s show having been two days shorter than that of 2017 and having not aligned aligning with school holidays, the exhibit managed to achieve a 13 per cent increase in revenue year-on-year.

Olivia said the show’s primary school day was also a huge success, with orchardist Barney Hyams teaching school groups throughout the day about apples and pears.

Hailstorm Heroes campaign

In the wake of the severe hailstorm that hit Adelaide Hills and the South East last October, Hort Innovation launched a ‘Hailstorm Heroes’ campaign in April to assure South Australian and Northern Territory consumers that fruit with a few spots and dots is still delicious.

The campaign built on the success of the 2016 national Hailstorm Heroes campaign, which was undertaken to support Goulburn Valley pear growers after another massive hailstorm.

Delivered in partnership with the local industry, the campaign involved 30-second radio advertisements and Facebook posts targeted at consumers in SA and the NT. A supporting public relations campaign targeted the media, producing 80 pieces of coverage to date with a reach of more than 3.2 million people across TV, radio, print, online and social media.

“Local media has been really supportive of the campaign, especially broadcast media, with channels Seven, Nine and Ten all featuring the campaign,” Olivia said.

Hort Innovation also worked with growers, Brand SA and retailers to create Hailstorm Heroes branded packaging for the campaign to call out the message at point of sale, including special Hailstorm Heroes apple and pear packs for Coles, Aldi and independents and Hailstorm Hero stickers for the Odd Bunch lines at Woolworths. In-store sampling in key supermarkets and independent grocers across SA and NT was also used to help convert consumers to purchase by demonstrating that the slightly blemished apples and pears are still just as tasty this season.

Other initiatives

Databar stickers in supermarkets

Coles and Woolworths, with support from Hort Innovation, have started rolling out databar stickers on all apple and pear varieties being sold.

The databar initiative aims to improve forecasting and waste management, directing sales back to the correct article at a retail level. The stickers also provide a level of traceability back to packhouses, addressing a key challenge around food safety and protection, as well as helping to monitor any quality issues.

The databars have started to roll out in store for new season apples and pears.

Aussie Apples activity


With most varieties of new-season apples available in stores, the first burst of television activity for the Aussie Apples ‘Get your crunch on’ campaign was launched on 29 April 2018 with 30-second and 15-second spots in both the metropolitan and regional markets, as well as on subscription TV.

To ensure strong reach, the Aussie Apples TV commercial will be featured in a variety of peak high-rating programs including MasterChefThe Voice and various news programs.

In 2018 Aussie Apples will be on TV for eight weeks of the year. With four weeks on air at the height of the apple season and another four weeks on air in the second half of the year, it will ensure apples have strong visibility throughout the year.

Digital media

The Aussie Apples digital campaign commenced on 1 April before the first TV burst due to the timing of the school holidays, which is a period when TV viewership is traditionally down.

The Aussie Apples TV commercial has also featured on key online sites, including on catch-up TV networks (9now, 10play and plus7), along with premium placements on news and entertainment sites.

The first four weeks of the campaign delivered more than 300,000 views, with a video completion rate of 88.21 per cent and a viewability rate of 89.88 per cent – well above the industry benchmark of 70 per cent for each measure.

These great results can be attributed to the performance of catch up TV, with the Aussie Apples TV commercial being placed in popular shows like Bachelor in Paradise and My Kitchen Rules. It was also able to be positioned during the Commonwealth Games.

Aussie Apples digital activity will continue throughout the year, synced with TV for maximum impact, and will be further amplified by YouTube and Spotify activity in the coming weeks to target the younger demographic.

Social media

Aussie Apples has continued its ‘always on’ approach to Facebook, ensuring apples are engaging with consumers with interesting, shareable content. The Aussie Apples social media campaign has delivered more than six million impressions and 2.5 million engagements since May 2017.

Olivia said March’s activity continued to show strong performance, with an above-average engagement rate (42.6%) and more than 260,000 engagements.

March’s most engaging piece of content was “Easter time means apple slinkys! Hurry down to the Sydney Royal Easter Show to grab your apple slinky, or make one at home for the kids to put a twist on a tasty snack”. This post delivered 89,000 engagements from 180,000 impressions, giving it a high engagement rate of 49.46 per cent. This post was successful due to its engaging video, with many comments centring around how great an apple slinky machine was.

The second-best-performing post also leveraged the Easter season. The post, “Nothing says Easter is here more than Hot Cross buns! Raise your Hot Cross Bun game with this apple and cinnamon recipe”, reached more than 84,000 users and had 61,000-plus engagements.

Woolworths’ Awesome Apple Day

Aussie Apples, in partnership with Woolworths, participated in Awesome Apple day throughout Woolworths stores nationally.

Hort Innovation provided Woolworths with Aussie Apples aprons and apple slicers. These were sent to stores for staff to use in providing samples of different varieties of apples at the start of the season.

Olivia said the first Awesome Apple Day on Saturday 24 March kicked off the campaign in style.

“It saw some great in-store theatre created across the stores. The day helps to create consumer engagement in the category as we kick off the season and helps to keep apples top of mind at the point of purchase,” she said.

Additional Awesome Apple Days were also held on Saturday 28 April and Saturday 5 May.

New direction for Aussie Apples

Aussie Apples has wound its partnership with Netball Australia to a close, with the decision made to focus on a range of broader media activities and retailer activations to support the sale of one of Australia’s favourite fruits. This decision was supported by the Apple and Pear Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP).

The partnership with netball in 2017 saw some positive outcomes for industry, including hundreds of apples being handed out at games, ambassador activities, match signage at televised netball events, production of a sports nutrition guide and winning the Parents’ Voice Fame Award.

However, in 2018 the focus is shifting to a broad reach for the ‘Get your crunch on message’ through mediums such as television, radio and cinema advertising, plus the boosting of the Aussie Apples digital presence across the internet via social media platforms, YouTube and Spotify.

Grower portal

To enhance growers’ marketing capabilities, the new Aussie Apples Grower Portal was launched in February, giving access to industry marketing materials and information all in one place.

This initiative aligns with the Apple and Pear Strategic Investment Plan by addressing the need to increase industry knowledge of marketing as a means of adding to product value.

Once registered, growers will be able to access logos, posters and other promotional material, the CSIRO Apple Health Report and more. The portal will evolve over time with content such as recipes for downloading, high-resolution product shots and consumer research.

Growers can register for use of the portal through the top right-hand button on the Aussie Apples website.

Hort Innovation invites growers to provide feedback on materials they would like to be able to access on the site; suggestions can be emailed to

Australian Pears activities

Social media

The Australian Pears social media campaign has delivered almost 5.5 million impressions and more than two million engagements (video views, comments and sharing) between June 2017 and March 2018. This has been achieved through engaging content about pear recipes, varieties and health benefits tied to pop culture and current events.

March 2018 saw the highest engagement rate since the campaign began in June 2017, sitting at 56.45 per cent.

March’s most engaging piece of content featured a pear recipe from popular TV cooking show My Kitchen Rules. This post delivered 89,000 engagements and 134,000 impressions, giving it an extremely high engagement rate of 66.90 per cent.

The second-best-performing post featured a Beurre Bosc cake recipe. It achieved 202,000 impressions and 126,000 engagements, with an engagement rate of 62.2 per cent.

myfoodbook subscription

Australian Pears continued its subscription with popular recipe and cookbook site myfoodbook. The myfoodbook community includes more than 200,000 subscribers and promotes recipes to more than 2.8 million people each month.

Throughout January and February, myfoodbook was busy with content creation for pears, including quick snack ideas, four-ingredients-or-less recipes, and content educating consumers on how to ripen pears. (Pear ripening issues were identified in a recent consumer survey commissioned by Hort Innovation in which almost one in two consumers stated that they would purchase more pears if they knew how to judge how ripe they were.)

Since October 2017, Australian Pears has achieved 219,000 brand engagements, which include recipe viewing, sharing, exporting or saving. This has been achieved through videos, site sponsorships, cookbook downloads and social media.


These industry marketing initiatives are managed by Hort Innovation and are funded by the apple and pear marketing levy. This content has been prepared by the Hort Innovation apple and pear team, with growers welcome to contact Apple and Pear Marketing Manager Olivia Grey ( with any questions relating to the marketing programme.

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