Support for

Creating a better future for Australian apple and pear growers,
through industry leadership and commercial advancement.

Sales & Marketing

A staple of the Aussie family fruit bowl, apples and pears are both in the top 10 most frequently purchased fresh fruit category.

From a consumer perspective, the fresh produce category is becoming more dynamic with the new, exciting and premium varieties appearing on-shelf, year-round availability and perceived ‘new’ or superfood health benefits.

While new varieties such as Bravo®, Piqa® Boo®, Kanzi® are now more readily available, APAL market research shows that consumers regard apples and pears as ‘staple’ products: families always have them in the fruit bowl and see them as good value for money.

With increased competition from other fruits and ‘healthy snacks’, it’s more important than ever that consumers are consistently delighted by the quality of apples and pears. Just one poor eating experience can deter a shopper for weeks!

While there is no single characteristic that determines what consumers rate as a ‘great apple’, a ‘crisp’ apple will have a uniform look and feel, i.e. no blemishes, no bumps, preferably a round shape, not too big or too small, and with a vibrant colour.

Pears face an additional marketing challenge, with consumers sometimes unsure how to judge when a pear is ripe and ready to eat. The Pear Maturity Project, currently being conducted by APAL, will remove some of this guesswork by pre-ripening pears to create a more consistent eating experience – as has already been implemented to great success across avocados and kiwi fruit.

Finally, fresh produce shoppers are known to be largely habitual and difficult to disrupt, so creating attractive point of sale and merchandising displays is important. The use of packaging, however, must be managed carefully: while providing valuable marketing real estate for branding, improved country-of-origin labelling and convenience, there is a simultaneous and growing desire by consumers to reduce waste.


Creating New Markets

Creating New Markets

Creating local and foreign market growth is a core pillar of the APAL Industry Strategy 2018–23.

Over a 10–15 year period, Australian apple and pear exports have declined from above 18 per cent to close to 3 per cent of production. For most growers, export has become an ad hoc and opportunistic activity to dispose of production volume excess or take advantage of favourable spot-buying activities.

Despite our high costs of production, Australia has multiple export advantages including:

  • Geographic location allowing us to fill seasonal shoulders
  • Proximity to Asian markets
  • Reputation for quality, product integrity and ethical practices

The emergence of club varieties and the government’s ongoing negotiations with China for market access for Australian apples has triggered a renewed focus on export.

Creating New Markets

Investing in Marketing for Apples & Pears

Aussie growers pay a levy to Horticulture Innovation Australia, who are responsible for managing and investing that levy in a range of marketing programs under the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund to drive awareness and consumption.

A key focus is on encouraging awareness of apples and pears, their health benefits and great taste, and encouraging the purchase of fruit for snacks and meals to boost overall consumption.

The Aussie Apples brand, developed by Hort Innovation, is a quality mark that can be applied to fruit meeting the specification.

Download the Aussie Apples Guidelines

Sizeable non-levy funded marketing investments are now also being made via club varieties where growers pay a fee to have club-specific marketing campaigns developed on their behalf.

Similar to club varieties, APAL is also investing in managed-brands such as Kalei®, providing growers with the testing, management and marketing advantages, without the volume commitments required by clubs.

The high-level marketing approach taken by both club and managed varieties is to:

Build international partnerships for export opportunity.

Read more about levies and Variety Commercialisation.


Strategic Marketing Panel

The purpose of the Strategic Marketing Panel is not to deliver marketing implementation, but to direct those who do through sound, results driven marketing strategy – Phil Turnbull, CEO APAL

With the backing of growers, APAL and Hort Innovation are working to refresh the strategic approach towards marketing levy investment. The aim is to deliver an impactful, long-term marketing strategy and annual plan which will bring about:

In 2019 it was agreed that a Strategic Marketing Panel (SMP) with deep industry experience and strategic marketing expertise would be best-placed to develop the industry’s marketing strategy, allocate funding, oversee implementation and build stronger relationships between production, retail (both domestic and export) and the consumer.

The SMP will comprise Industry, Hort Innovation, APAL and FMCG marketing expertise, and will be charged with ensuring the marketing levy is invested against a sound marketing strategy with measurable KPI’s and clear accountability.