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Speed marketing update: 2017 through 2018

Research & Extension

Hort Innovation’s Apple and Pear Marketing Manager Olivia Grey presented a marketing levy update for apples and pears at Hort Connections 2018 as part of APAL’s Speed Updating sessions
in Brisbane in June. As part of the presentation she recapped the 2017 activity for apples and pears, shared the results of each of the campaigns and gave an overview of the 2018 activity.

Hort Innovation’s Olivia Grey provides an update on apple and pear marketing at Hort Connections 2018.

Apple activity

In 2017 the key objective for Aussie Apples was to re-establish apples as the healthy, on-the-go snack.

A key performance indicator (KPI) was to get apples back onto the consumer’s list of their top five favourite snacks. In March 2017 apples were ranked at
number six as a preferred snack according to research conducted by market research agency Edentify. A year later, apples had overtaken biscuits and nuts to tie for position number three – a
huge achievement.

Another KPI is purchase intent. When the Aussie Apples campaign was launched in March 2017, 80 per cent of consumers said they would be ‘very’ or ‘quite likely’ to purchase apples in
the next fortnight. In May 2018 the response to this question had increased to 89 per cent.

Finally, the number of consumers who remembered seeing the Aussies Apples advertisement increased from five per cent in March 2017 to 18 per cent in March 2018, exceeding the KPI of 12 per cent.

With most Australian households already purchasing apples, the focus for 2018 is on getting people to buy apples more frequently by prioritising them over other snack alternatives.

This means constantly reminding people to Get Your Crunch On – the campaign motto – so that apples remain top-of-mind, as well as targeting the right people in places that are contextually relevant to them, and at the right time, such as during snack times and when they’re on the go. Basically, more crunch, more often.


In 2018 Aussies Apples’ Get Your Crunch On ad is appearing on TV over eight weeks.

The first four weeks of advertising on TV ran from April through to June. There were 10 million grocery buyers aged 25-54 years who saw the ad across metro and regional markets, with ads
appearing during high-rating shows such as MasterChef and The Voice.

The next four weeks of TV advertising will air in July to August.


Digital advertising that incorporates ads across websites and mobile applications, such as YouTube and the music service Spotify, is also central to the Aussie Apples advertising campaign. Millennials in their 20s and 30s are now the largest spending group in the economy, but they purchase only four per cent of apples by value, according to Nielsen Homescan data (Moving
Annual Total [MAT] to 21/04/2018). To capture the spend of this lucrative demographic, Aussie Apples advertising will now appear on YouTube and Spotify; it will continue to air on catch-up TV to reach the broader target audience beyond Millennials.

The first eight-week burst of digital advertising concluded in June.

All facets of the digital campaign achieved an above-benchmark result during this period.

Across digital video ad placement, the overall ‘completion rate’ (the percentage of people exposed to the ad who watched it through to completion without skipping or stopping it) was 88 per cent, exceeding the benchmark of 70 per cent.

Spotify had an audio ‘completion rate’ of 91 per cent across more than 176,000 impressions (the number of times content is displayed to the audience), targeting people mid-morning and midafternoon, which are key snack times.

YouTube served more than 4,258,000 six-second ad impressions, with a 93 per cent ‘completion rate’.

The next round of digital advertising is running over seven weeks from the end of June until the end of August.


Something new for Aussie Apples in 2018 is radio ad placement, targeting people with the ‘crunch’ sound on the way to and from work, school and the shops.

The radio ads were aired across the eastern seaboard over five weeks in April and May, reaching almost two million grocery buyers aged 25-54 years. The ads contained messages about health, seasonality and varieties.

The next round of radio ads are being aired in July and August over another five weeks.


For four weeks in April the Aussie Apples ad was shown in cinemas, reaching 1.4 million people. Ads were placed before top-grossing movies such as Avengers: Infinity War, and across digilite panels in cinema foyers.


The Get Your Crunch On message will continue as the foundation of Aussie Apples messaging, complemented by messaging on varieties and health, and will be amplified through social media, public relations activities, events and in-store sampling.

Finally, Hort Innovation will conduct a thorough consumer research piece exploring Aussie Apples to learn the triggers and barriers to purchase, brand preference and purchase hierarchy. This study will be informed by recent research commissioned by APAL which is yet to be completed and released, and will also be conducted on pears.


Apples will continue to have representation at key trade shows in export markets, including Asia Fruit Logistica on 5-7 September. This will be complemented by the Taste Australia retail program in Hong Kong with activity such as in-store sampling. And the export co-promotion program will continue to provide support to growers to help increase apple exports. This program has already provided support to help growers to target export markets including the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Netherlands.

Pear activity

The main objective of the 2017 Australian Pears marketing campaign was to increase snacking and cooking occasions for pears. Following the campaign, Edentify’s consumer tracking data revealed an increase in pear consumption during the snacking times of mid-morning and mid-afternoon, as well as at lunch time. There has also been an increase in consumers using pears on a range of different occasions, including incidences of consumers snacking on pears whole and using them for lunch and in smoothies and dessert.

While these are some great wins, the consumer data reveals that a major barrier to purchase is not knowing if a pear is ripe. This has come through in consumer feedback during in-store sampling sessions and consumer tracking, where almost one in two consumers claimed they would buy more pears if they knew how to judge their ripeness.

Therefore, the 2018 campaign is centred on educating consumers on how to choose, ripen and use pears, through a content partnership with Food Corp (News Corp Australia’s food division) educating consumers on ripening techniques and different pear varieties through features in Taste Magazine, Delicious and Super Food Ideas, reaching almost two million people. This will be complemented by pear advertising across digital media, public relations activities and in-store sampling to keep pears top-of-mind at the point of purchase.

With a bumper pear crop, increasing exports is vital to help protect grower profitability. This includes marketing activity through Taste Australia in Hong Kong and the export co-promotion
program, which helps to fund marketing activities in export markets to promote the sale of pears.


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. Growers are welcome to contact Apple and Pear Marketing Manager Olivia Grey ( or 02 8295 2387) with any questions relating to the marketing program.

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