Promoting Aussie stone fruit in China, Malaysia and Thailand 

As part of the ongoing work for client Hort Innovation, Bastion Effect was tasked with launching the Australian Summerfruit export season under the Taste Australia brand in China, Malaysia and Thailand. This was to promote Aussie stone fruit such as nectarines, peaches, apricots, and plums.

Delivering an in-store promotion and e-commerce campaign in China 

The campaign launched in late December with in-store events at key partner retailers in all three markets. This was followed by an in-store retail promotion program with point of sale marketing and sampling across all three markets and an ecommerce and social media campaign in China.

On social media the team revamped the Taste Australia WeChat account and created four long-form content pieces with organic growth of engagement by 500%, as well as seeding product out to 80 e-commerce KOCs (key opinion consumers).

For ecommerce, they worked closely with program stakeholders and Alibaba’s hybrid supermarket Hema to rebrand the whole Australian Summerfruit section online, by hosting a livestream episode that promoted the in-season fruit, and featuring one of the Montague fruit team as he travelled through Shanghai. This was a first for Hema’s new livestream selling platform.

Through their livestream we broke the existing record for Hema’s livestream sales and sold through all the stock in Shanghai (1 tonne of Australian Summerfruit) in the first 20 minutes. Our ecommerce marketing doubled the sales volume across the seasons for all Australian stone fruits, especially nectarines with an increase of 461%.

Adapting tactics as COVID-19 hit China in January 2020

COVID-19 hit the campaign in China late January, which forced the team to think quickly and adapt tactics and activities in market. We listened to our partners, pausing on promotional activity during the height of the crisis at the beginning of February. As China slowly accustomed back to normal life, promotions were then picked up again at the end of the month.

We did the same in Malaysia and Thailand, adapting the campaign around the changing consumer attitudes and marketing environment. In Thailand we moved the campaign online to support partner retailers through social content and creating home recipes with KOLs, reaching 5 million consumers in Thailand. The team are now finishing the retail promotion program in Thailand and 7 cities in Northern China.