Marketing Matters Joseph Ebbage Marketing Program Manager
Domestic Market Sales of our Australian almonds over the first two months of our 2012 crop year are up over the same period last year. Our current forecast of this year’s crop is 53,000 tonnes which is more than 40% higher than last year’s. There is a significant opportunity to continue growing the domestic consumption of Australian almonds. The Nielsen Homescan research provides us with three key insights. (Nielsen’s Homescan research tracks the purchases of 10,000 households throughout Australia). • Firstly, while 86% of households purchased some nuts in the past year, only 46% purchased almonds. This means that 40% of nut-purchasing households did not buy any almonds. • Secondly, the consumption of almonds is skewed towards Australia’s older demographic segments: namely ‘Established Couples’ and ‘Senior Couples’. Growing demand within Australian families would significantly grow national consumption. • Thirdly, we need to convert low and medium frequency almond purchasing households into high frequency buyers. Currently, 62% of households are ‘light purchasers’ who buy 1-2 times a year, accounting for 25% of almond sales.
Our principal ‘call to action’ is to convince Australians to eat ‘a handful of Australian almonds, three times a week’. A person who did so for 11 months in the year would consume over 4 kgs of almonds. The current average consumption of an almond purchasing household is 1.2 kgs of almonds per year. A family of four consuming our ‘handful of almonds three times a week, for 11 months a year, would consume over 17 kgs of almonds. To summarise, our growth opportunities lie in targeting: (1) people who buy some nuts but no almonds, (2) families with children, and (3) people who are currently low and medium frequency almond purchasers. Educating Health Professionals One of our key marketing strategies has been to educate Australian health professionals as to the significant health benefits of including a handful of almonds in a healthy daily diet. It’s an ‘influence the influencer’ program. We have targeted three key health professions: dietitians, who are the ‘idea-leaders’ within nutrition; GPs, who see 20 million Australians every year; and fitness and sport trainers/coaches who are increasing in significance each year. Over the past three months, we have exhibited at a range of key conferences that cover these three health professions. In terms of communicating with doctors in
General Practice, we have participated in the General Practice Registrars conference and in the GPCE Sydney conference. Working with Registrars is a new area for our program having commenced a sponsorship of General Practice Registrars Australia in January 2012. Registrars are doctors working in general practice, who have graduated from medical school and are currently training to become fully qualified General Practitioners. Influencing these young doctors as to the significant nutritional benefits of almonds is in the clear interest of our marketing objectives. We initiated our communication with these Registrars by participating in their annual conference in February, which was attended by over 400 Registrars, Registrar trainers and medical students interested in general practice as a vocation. We supplied all attendees with a small heart tin and a nutrition fact sheet. In May, we exhibited at GPCE Sydney: one of Australia’s largest ‘Continuing Education’ conferences for GPs. We received over 400 requests for our Education Kits which include brochures and 12 small heart almond snack tins for their clients, as well as a large heart tin containing 300gms of almonds for their own health and nutrition. If doctors are eating almonds during the day in their practice, they are more likely to think of them and recommend almonds to their patients. These kits will be distributed to the GPs in June.