Saturday, December 2, 2023

Grass-fed campaign resonates with China’s foodies

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Alliance says the mission is to expand distribution and build scale for Handpicked Lamb to meet the needs of increasingly discerning consumers who are willing to pay a price premium.
Handpicked Lamb that meets a strict range of criteria is hand-selected through Alliance’s processing plants.
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China’s “conscious foodie” consumers continue to rate New Zealand beef and lamb highly, with marketing campaigns driving positive results.    

Tracking of the Taste Pure Nature marketing campaign run by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) shows that awareness of NZ’s grass-fed farming practice remains high, at 81%.

There has also been a 13% lift in conscious foodie consumers who remember the campaign and indicate it strongly influences their consideration, likelihood and recommendation to buy NZ beef and lamb.

The top motivators for meat consumption remain quality, taste, trust and safety, with NZ beef and lamb continuing to rate highly on all aspects with excellent perceived value overall, BLNZ global manager NZ red meat story Michael Wan said.

From NZ, Naturally Good was a three-month brand marketing campaign across key Chinese social media platforms, including WeChat and Little Red Book, and was designed to build awareness and an aspiration to buy NZ grass-fed beef and lamb.  

“Partnering with NZ exporters enabled us to link our digital content and advertising to where-to-buy information so that conscious foodie consumers could purchase product either online or offline,” Wan said.

He said as a result of the campaign, industry partners Alliance and Silver Fern Farms had more than 3.7 million people discover and learn about their brand. Both have expressed interest in collaborating further on upcoming seasonal marketing campaigns.

The Taste Pure Nature campaign uses social media as one of the primary platforms for reaching and communicating with Chinese conscious foodies.  

Since relaunching the WeChat account in September, with a focus on creative content and engaging topics that resonate with consumers, the channel has had more than 3,000 new followers and increased the readership of content by 55%. 

After refreshing its content strategy on the popular social channel Little Red Book there has been a 360% increase in monthly engagement.

Overall, more than 2.3 million people watch the campaign brand video, which generated more than 855,000 engagements. 

“This continues to be an effective way for us to link awareness to available product and support the initiatives our NZ exporters are launching in-market,” Wan said.

A key focus for this year’s Chinese marketing programme is to leverage traditional holidays and seasonal festivities to encourage consumers to include NZ grass-fed beef and lamb in these occasions.  

Earlier this year BLNZ launched a Chinese New Year campaign in partnership with Alliance and Silver Fern Farms on Go Kitchen, the largest cooking and recipe app in China. 

The campaign involved an online cooking competition and encouraged Go Kitchen users to try NZ grass-fed beef and lamb in their Chinese New Year cooking. 

The three-week campaign generated more than 22 million impressions and drove 299,000 clicks to the campaign landing page, where consumers could learn more about the NZ grass-fed origin story and where to buy branded product.  

BLNZ is also working on the launch this month of a WeChat mini app programme that will act as a Taste Pure Nature website where conscious foodies can learn more about the NZ origin story and most importantly, where they can buy NZ exporters’ products. 

The next seasonal campaign, centered on the Chinese lunar calendar, will also launch this month with Go Kitchen and NZ exporters.

Meanwhile Alliance Group is expanding its award-winning Pure South Handpicked Lamb premium range into Malaysia and Singapore as it seeks to capture greater value for farmer-shareholders.

Alliance launched Handpicked Lamb in 2020 as part of its differentiated premium portfolio.

The lamb, hand-selected using a rigorous assessment system to measure eating quality, is already available in many premium retail markets in Asia.

“Our mission is to expand distribution and build scale for Handpicked Lamb, further differentiate our range from our competitors and meet the needs of increasingly discerning consumers around the world who are willing to pay a price premium for our red meat products and certain attributes,” Alliance group general manager sales Shane Kingston said.

“We already have a commanding position in Malaysia with our Pure South and Silere Alpine Origin Merino distribution, and Pure South Handpicked Lamb will enable us to capture more consumer sectors and roll out a full portfolio.”

The Handpicked Lamb programme is open to Alliance Group’s shareholders who supply 100% of their ovine livestock to the company. 

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