SWEETPOTATO LEVY INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT

Sweetpotato

See how the sweetpotato marketing levy is being put to work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of the levy, and results.

INDUSTRY UPDATE

Along with Hortlink, don’t forget that Hort Innovation’s sweetpotato grower page is an important source of industry info for levy payers. On it you’ll find:

  • Updates regarding the sweetpotato Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), as available. Developed in close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders, the SIP will be a document outlining the priorities for strategic investment for the industry. It will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the sweetpotato Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
  • The latest meeting notes from the sweetpotato SIAP, which last met in February and is set to meet again on June 13 in Bundaberg.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including the most recent financial operating statement.
  • Grower resources and events of interest to the industry.

Any questions?

As well as Hort Innovation’s sweetpotato grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Christian Patterson is always available to answer questions on the sweetpotato program on 0433 896 753 or at christian.patterson@horticulture.com.au. You can also contact Marketing Manager Craig Perring at craig.perring@horticulture.com.au.

MARKETING SNAPSHOT

THE LATEST ACTIVITY THAT’S GROWING THE INDUSTRY

The Australian Sweetpotatoes inaugural marketing campaign began in early March. Initial activity has included…

Developing a suite of sweetpotato assets

The consumer-facing website www.australiansweetpotatoes.com.au has been established as a go-to spot for all things Australian Sweetpotatoes. The site includes innovative recipe ideas, health and nutrition information, tips and other sweetpotato information to inspire Australian consumers to supercharge their meals with sweetpotatoes.

Recipes that have been developed also feature in hard-copy recipe cards and a booklet specifically targeting families.

Meanwhile, the campaign to date has produced some amazing cooking videos showing how easy to prepare and versatile sweetpotatoes are. The videos are short, highly stylised and clearly branded, and will be pushed out through web and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook (www.facebook.com/australiansweetpotatoes), Instagram and recipe and cookbook community MyFoodBook (www.myfoodbook.com.au).


Sweet potato - recipe cards

Recipe cards are among the industry’s new marketing materials


Showcasing at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

Running from April 6 to 19, the Sydney Royal Easter Show was a great opportunity to showcase Australian Sweetpotatoes, with more than 922,000 people walking through the gates.

The sweetpotato stand was located immediately inside one of the main entrances to the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, with the exhibit and the Australian Sweetpotato logo clearly visible to showgoers outside of the pavilion too. Wicker baskets holding sweetpotatoes were displayed across the stand’s counters, and brand ambassadors wore Australian Sweetpotato branded hats and aprons.

The ambassadors prepared and handed out samples of two different dishes – sweetpotato fritters and sweetpotato fries – explaining how to prepare them step-by-step. While communicating the key messages of the Supercharge Your Meal campaign and handing out recipe brochures, the ambassadors also promoted the sweetpotato dishes as a healthy alternative to the food normally on offer at the Easter Show.

A total of 35,000 samples and 30,000 brochures and recipe cards were distributed over the 14-day period of the Show.


Sweetpotato - Easter Show

Crowds beginning to line up for sweetpotato fries at the Sydney Royal Easter Show


In-store promotions

From March 6 to April 1, Australian Sweetpotato ambassadors with branded aprons and caps prepared and offered shoppers sweetpotato chips within 107 Coles and 106 Woolworths stores across the country.

A total of 31,982 interactions with consumers were had and 24,542 samples given out during the period, with ambassadors communicating the health benefits and uses of sweetpotatoes, while distributing Supercharge Your Meal recipe brochures and encouraging purchase.

The in-store demonstrations provided some insights into shoppers’ minds, with the following statistics revealed:

  • 23 per cent of shoppers were unaware of the benefits of sweetpotatoes before the demonstration
  • 49 per cent already buy sweetpotatoes for their health benefits and nutritional value
  • 63 per cent said everyone in their household likes sweetpotatoes
  • 76 per cent preferred sweetpotatoes over potatoes
  • 25 per cent found price a potential barrier to purchase.

FACES OF HORTICULTURE

LINDA ZUNKER, GROWER – WINDHUM FARMS, QLD

For sweetpotato grower Linda Zunker, the industry’s new levy-funded marketing campaign has been a bit of a whirlwind so far – but it’s been a good one!

“I have to say straight up that, perhaps like a lot of sweetpotato growers, for me there was a little apprehension around what the marketing levy would mean, and how things would progress. In a word: fast!” Linda said. “But I think that if we were left to our own devices, we wouldn’t have progressed anywhere near to what we have already. So far we’ve got a new brand, a logo, a website, social media, recipes and recipe cards and brochures. Our in-store campaign started in early March, and sweetpotatoes were also showcased at the Sydney Easter Show. So there’s been quite a lot.”

On the way up

Linda said that the Australian Sweetpotatoes campaign has come at a good time for the industry. “We’re really lucky that the market for sweetpotato is one that’s growing. The marketing activity is going to get the message out and increase consumption that much more, to help this growth along and sustain it.”

Education and inspiration will be powerful tools here, Linda said.

“A lot of people see sweetpotato as an old-fashioned food that has to be boiled or roasted. But it isn’t and it doesn’t. It can be a million different things. Some of the recipes out there just blow you away – there’s so much that can be done with sweetpotato.”

Recipes that are part of the campaign materials to date range from purees for babies and basics with a twist, such as hassleback sweetpotatoes, right through to unexpected combos such as sweet potato, coconut and peanut butter ice-cream.

Health messages are also important, Linda said. “We’ve got a fantastic product – the health benefits of sweetpotato are a real selling point – and while the product itself hasn’t changed, now we have the promotion side of things to draw more people in.”

Sharing the sweetpotato love

As a member of the sweetpotato Strategic Investment Advisory Panel, Linda visited one of the in-store demonstrations in her local area to see the marketing action firsthand.

“I was very happy with the set-up in the store, it was really well done,” she said. “You could see and smell the sweetpotato fries being cooked, and though bad weather meant there was a lower supply of sweetpotato than anticipated, the shoppers got recipe cards to take away, to keep them coming back to buy more sweetpotato.”

Linda said she has her own little supply of recipe cards and booklets from the campaign, to make use of in her business. “At Windhum Farms, we have local food tours call into our shed to get a bit of an insight into what goes on. So I’ve called up and got some of the marketing materials to distribute to the people coming through.”

Any grower is welcome to request the cards and booklets to help get the word out – simply contact John Maltby from Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc on 0478 174 802 or at aspg.sec@gmail.com.

“Like many growers, I love telling people about the industry – and this is just another way to engage with them,” Linda said. “I truly believe the sweetpotato industry has a fantastic future, and promotion and education are a key part of moving forward.”


Linda

Linda sharing Australian Sweetpotatoes recipe cards with one of the tour groups that regularly stop by Windhum Farms


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2017-06-23T23:53:06+00:00