Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the sweet potato marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Sweetpotato Fund. This marketing program continues to support a number of activities…
September and October saw sweetpotato in-store demonstrations happening across major supermarkets on Australia’s east coast. A total of 150 supermarkets were involved, including 73 Coles stores and 77 Woolworths supermarkets, with the activity designed to increase sales, encourage trial, communicate sweetpotato health benefits and usage tips, and to distribute recipe brochures.
Some 16,300 sweetpotato samples were given out to shoppers, with a high trial-to-conversion rate of 36 per cent, and Victoria averaging the highest number of sales during the campaign.
Family expo activity
The marketing program saw sweetpotatoes showcased at the Sydney Essential Baby and Toddler Show, held in Darling Harbour in late September. More than 17,600 visitors attended the show and over 4000 samples were given out to visitors, along with 3000 sweetpotato recipe books containing nutritional information, meal ideas and recipes for baby’s first foods, transitioning to solid foods, feeding hungry toddlers and meals for the whole family.
The demographic of visitors fell directly into the marketing campaign’s target demographic of families – with 46 per cent of visitors expecting a new baby, 34 per cent with a baby 0-12 months, 22 per cent with a toddler 13-36 months, and 13 per cent with a child over three years of age.
The Everyday Sweetpotatoes: Recipes for Kids & Families recipe book has also been released as an e-book – available here – which has had more than 3000 downloads to date.
Social media activity
The social media campaign is continuing with its ‘always on’ approach continues to generate great content and achieve high reach. Since the last Hortlink there has been a focus on generating more fans for the sweetpotato Facebook page, with more than 10,000 genuine Australian-based sweetpotato lovers/consumers added to the page’s followers – and more than one million people reached with sweetpotato content.
Constant insights are taken on the social media strategy and the program is tweaked monthly to maximise opportunities to reach and engage sweetpotato consumers.
Open tenders have been sent out for in-store demonstrations and events, and public relations and social media for the marketing program, which will see the program planned out over the next two-and-a-half years.
December will see the full three-year strategy finalised, with the program completely aligned across all areas of investment. The final marketing plan and strategy will be made available to all growers.
There will also be lots of new activity in the new calendar year. Watch this space!
To date, the marketing program has had excellent participation and support from growers, including grower attendance at the family expo described above. Hort Innovation encourages growers to continue to be involved in the program…
- On-farm images of harvest, packing, or general life on a sweetpotato farm are always well received by the consumers – share yours with Craig Perring at email@example.com for potential inclusion in the industry’s social media channels
- You can also share your name with Craig if you would like to volunteer for some of the upcoming events
- Craig can also help you get hold of Australian Sweetpotato marketing materials, including copies of the sweetpotato recipe book, if you’d like to help share them around.
- Following, liking and sharing the program’s social media posts is another great way to get involved, so make sure you follow Australian Sweetpotatoes on Facebook
Growers are also encouraged to chat with the sweetpotato SIAP panellists to share thoughts on the marketing program – this is always welcome, as the more feedback received from growers, the better the marketing program can be. You can find information on the SIAP on Hort Innovation’s Sweetpotato Fund page.
For any questions relating to the Sweetpotato Fund marketing activities, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Craig Perring at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the broader fund, contact Christian Patterson on the details above.