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New consumer campaigns to promote pome fruit

Consumer insights

The full version of this article appears in the AFG Winter 2022 edition.

 Aussie Apples’ new domestic marketing campaign will remind people just how enjoyable an apple can be and Taste Australia will promote Australian apples and pears to consumers in Indonesia and Thailand.

Domestic consumer campaign

The 2022 Aussie Apples™ ‘Hit refresh on your senses’ domestic marketing campaign runs from June through to September. The new integrated campaign is targeting occasional and lapsed consumers of apples, including young people and families, and aims to ensure that apples are seen as an enjoyable snack, particularly when there are many new innovations and ever-growing healthy snack options in the market.

The ‘Hit refresh on your senses’ campaign draws on the insight that when you eat an apple, it’s a sensory overload – the taste, the sound, the feeling. The range of new marketing and publicity material highlights these sensory benefits to remind people why they love apples and encourage them to reconsider eating apples as snacks.

The hero image for the Aussie Apples campaign dramatises the refreshing experience of eating an apple.

Retail out-of-home advertising: Static and digital advertising on shopping centre panels will keep apples top of mind as shoppers enter stores. This channel is expected to reach 5.9 million main grocery buyers aged 18–54 years old.

Social media: Static and video social content is running across Facebook and Instagram to build cost-effective reach and awareness across the key audiences of young healthy snackers and family healthy snackers. The content is being targeted across snacking moments throughout the day.

Radio advertising: To build the campaign’s reach and message frequency, two 30-second ads and one 15-second ad are featuring across national broadcast and Spotify streaming platforms, with tactical placements to reach consumers throughout the day across key snacking moments. These ads feature sensorial-inspired sound cues to amplify the deliciousness of apples. This channel is expected to reach over 3 million listeners about 6.9 times to reinforce the brand message.

Retailer and shopper: To remind shoppers to include apples in their shopping baskets, a series of brand ads is running across instore and online touchpoints across Woolworths (front-of-store screens, digital and online display) and Coles (full-page ad in Coles Magazine, online search terms). This activity will reach 1 million shoppers across Coles and the ads will be seen 4.2 million times across Cartology (Woolworths Group’s retail media partner) media channels.

To compete against other snacking options instore, the new Aussie Apple shopper-focused material highlights snacking cues and aligns with the sensorial hooks of the main ‘Hit refresh on your senses’ campaign. The shopper campaign promotes the different sensorial benefits each apple varietal brings to the senses.

The ‘Snack on a range for your senses’ shopper-focused message aims to drive interest and trial of different apples that are available in store.

This year’s campaign builds on the successful 2021 Aussie Apples ‘Hit Refresh’ brand campaign, which reconnected Australians with apples and provided a clear and distinct message that apples are a healthy snack that make you feel refreshed and revitalised. The key message performed well and had strong recall with consumers who were surveyed post-campaign.

QA and merchandising field force program update

The Apple and Pear Quality Assurance and Merchandising program has been running since mid-April, with 700 Coles and Woolworths stores receiving weekly visits from a team of dedicated merchandising representatives. The project, which is co-funded by the Hort Innovation Marketing and R&D apple and pear levy, aims to gather information and ensure top-tier merchandising standards are being applied to the apple and pear sections in key retailers. The program ends in July and its key goal is to deliver the most appealing displays to encourage consumers to increase the frequency and weight of their purchases.

The three key objectives of the program are to:

  1. improve the quality and appearance of apple and pear displays in store
  2. educate store staff on best-in-class merchandising standards
  3. audit and report on key performance indicators such as appearance, visible defects and point-of-sale (POS) availability.

Regular updates from both Coles and Woolworths have been positive, with household penetration reported to have improved by 2 per cent since the program’s inception.

Woolworths was the first to take part in the program and has shown impressive results in the first 12 weeks. Availability and quality are strong in both the apple and pear industries and are improving. POS availability and price look-up (PLU) sticker availability have also gained ground through staff training.

At the time of writing, Coles is in Week 8 of the program and has seen strong results on its metrics. Apple quality and presentation are standouts. Pears are seeing progress, with quality and PLU sticker availability being key highlights.

The Hort Innovation Customer Marketing team continues to have regular meetings with Woolworths and Coles to discuss any ongoing availability and presentation opportunities across the season.

As part of the evaluation for this program, sales impact in volume and value will be reviewed with retailers to determine key outcomes for consideration of future programs. A full report will be shared upon completion of this project.

Export marketing campaign

Taste Australia is the whole-of-horticulture brand used by industry and Hort Innovation to help increase the profile, sales and consumption of premium Australian horticulture products in key export markets, particularly Asia and the Middle East. It is supported by the Hort Frontiers Asia Markets Fund. Through Taste Australia, Hort Innovation undertakes export market development activities including trade shows, trade missions and retail marketing activities.

A Taste Australia apple and pear marketing campaign will begin in August 2022 and aims to build in-market awareness and drive consideration for Australian apples and pears in Indonesia and Thailand.

The export program will include a range of trade, retail and consumer activities:

Season launch event: A  media and networking launch event is planned for Indonesia to kick off the season. Key trade partners and local media, covering different industries such as food, lifestyle, news and business, will be invited to communicate the upcoming Taste Australia apples and pears campaign and the quality of Australian produce. Key opinion leaders and influencers in the food, parenting and lifestyle categories will also take part in the event to share their experiences of the produce on their social media channels, highlighting the premium nature of Australian apples and pears and their unique taste attributes.

In Bangkok, a trade and media launch event will be held, targeting industry media to communicate about the quality, taste and seasonality of Australian apples and pears. Invitations will be extended to trade partners, including importers and retailers. Influencers will also take part in this event to reach a new audience and wider demographic of consumers.

Retail program: A large number of activities will take place as part of the retail program, including instore displays, roadshow activities, retail promotions, gift-with-purchase, display competitions and online promotions. A range of Taste Australia POS material (posters, banners, strip shelf headers) will be displayed in major retailers participating in the program. In addition, the program will undertake retail e-commerce activities in partnership with the retailers’ preferred platforms, such as Lazada, Tokopedia or Shopee, to drive brand awareness among local consumers while generating sales. Activities will include advertising banners, discounts and a featured page for 3 to 4 weeks during the season.

A comprehensive instore display and sales promotion campaign will be undertaken in Thailand and Indonesia, involving major retail groups during August and September. Campaign activities will include:

  • Taste Australia point of sale material distributed to all participating retail stores
  • sales promoters conducting product tastings during the weekend peak periods
  • a roadshow with demo and sampling activities across all the retail partners
  • retailers’ websites and social media platforms being used to drive brand awareness among local consumers while generating sales.

Acknowledgement: AFG magazine content is partially delivered under the National Apple and Pear Communications Project (AP21000) which is funded by Hort Innovation using the apple and pear R&D levy and funds from the Australian Government and is delivered by APAL.

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