Welcome to the new Hort Innovation marketing team

Two new staff have joined the Hort Innovation marketing team: Lisa Troy, the new Marketing Manager for Apples and Pears, and Graeme Yardy, the new overall Marketing Lead. We invited them to introduce themselves, share their observations about marketing for apples and pears and give us an update on all marketing activities.

Graeme Yardy

Graeme Yardy is the new overall Marketing Lead at Hort Innovation.

Graeme Yardy is the new overall Marketing Lead at Hort Innovation.

I join Hort Innovation with a background as a senior marketing leader for Mars both in Australia and North America, with responsibilities for their food business, incorporating brands such as Masterfoods, Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s Rice.

My primary focus has been developing strategic growth plans to guide the Mars marketing activities and innovation plans. I’m a big believer in keeping marketing simple and focused, backed by solid data, and always with the end consumer in mind.

My family is from country NSW, with strong ties to the Northern Rivers/Tweed area, and so I’m looking forward to getting back to my rural roots in this role. My wife and I live on the Central Coast of NSW and we have a three week old son (yes – very new!). I’m a keen surfer, photographer and have a passion for food – both cooking and eating it.

At Hort Innovation, I will oversee all industry programs, and the first few weeks have been busy, engaging with the many and varied groups that make up the galaxy of industries that Hort Innovation services. My initial observations are that there is so much great work being done out there to grow and improve the profitability of the horticulture sector. The work that APAL has been doing recently to help Hort Innovation, to ensure apples and pears are top of mind for consumers, is an example of this great work. This gives the industry and my team here at Hort Innovation a fantastic springboard to build further returns for growers.

The opportunity for us as an industry is to collaborate on building and executing engaging consumer facing activities. Apples and pears, like all industries and products, continually face the challenge of relevance in people’s lives – whether it’s as their go-to snack, as a core ingredient, or some other purpose, we must be consistent and focused in winning their hearts and minds. Efficient use of levy funds to drive returns for growers is fundamental, and while I’m aware of the challenges of 2015, my goal is to work hard to bring great growth plans to market, in a transparent and inclusive way. I’m looking forward to the support of the APAL team in helping me to achieve this.

Lisa Troy, who will be your Marketing Manager, will be a fantastic resource for the apple and pear industry. She has a wealth of experience of what works and what doesn’t in the food space, and has hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to supporting Lisa to continue, and to create, some great work on apples and pears.

Graeme can be contacted on 02 8295 2300 or graeme.yardy@horticulture.com.au.

Lisa Troy

Lisa Troy is the new Marketing Manager for Apples and Pears at Hort Innovation.

Lisa Troy is the new Marketing Manager for Apples and Pears at Hort Innovation.

My work background is in food and beverage marketing in both brand and trade marketing roles, having worked most recently for Weight Watchers managing the Weight Watchers branded range sold in the Grocery channel across Australia and New Zealand. Previous to this, I worked for Goodman Fielder on various brands such as MeadowLea, Praise and White Wings and at Diageo, on Johnnie Walker, Bundaberg Rum, Baileys and Smirnoff.

On a personal note, I have been somewhat of a nomad as I am originally from Sydney, grew up in Wagga, spent time living in Germany, Japan and Singapore and am now living back in Sydney. I am passionate about fresh, seasonal food and enjoy cooking and eating out in my spare time.

In my initial six weeks, it has been a priority to get up and running in the role as quickly as possible and to get to know as many people within Hort Innovation and the industry. My first weeks included meetings with the APAL team, a visit to Sydney Markets and meetings with various suppliers to gain insight into the industry and updates on the marketing activity to date. I appreciate the work that APAL and other members of the Hort Innovation team have been doing while the marketing role was vacant and have been learning from their experience in the industry.

I am currently working on delivery of the marketing activity that has been agreed for the remainder of this financial year until June 2016 and moving forward on the planning process for 2016/2017. In March, we have two major sponsorship activities planned with the Sydney Royal Easter Show from 17 to 30 March 2016 and the Run for the Kids fun run in Melbourne on Sunday 20 March 2016. Both events are a great opportunity to promote Aussie Apples with Run for the Kids attracting over 30,000 runners and the Sydney Royal Easter Show expecting around 900,000 visitors in 2016 with extensive media coverage of both events as well.

Additionally, I am looking forward to working with APAL and the new Advisory Panel to progress the work that APAL has done, with renewed energy and a collaborative approach.

Looking forward, I expect that as a team, we will be busy prioritising ideas and opportunities to deliver the greatest return on our investment as there is certainly no shortage of either!

According to research conducted in Jan 2015, only 2 per cent of Australians are eating two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day despite this being the daily intake recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council. Overall, the health messages are more and more confusing with consumers bombarded with information and misinformation about the health benefits of various diets and lifestyles. We have an enormous opportunity to tap into this consumer interest in health and fitness and communicate more meaningful and on-trend health messages.

Also, with the proliferation of the foodie culture, cooking shows, ‘food porn’ and so on, consumers are more aware of where their food is coming from and want to increase and show off their food knowledge. We can build on this by showing consumers which variety of apple or pear to select for different cooking and eating occasions.

With awareness and household penetration of apples and pears high, we need to focus on encouraging consumers to purchase both fruits more often and will ensure the marketing plan is focused on delivering to agreed strategic goals and objectives.

Lisa can be contacted on 02 8295 2336, 0439 005 381 or lisa.troy@horticulture.com.au

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and not-for-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.